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Chopper Carrying Iranian President Raisi And Other Officials Crashes

One helicopter in a convoy of three in which Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was travelling was involved in an accident, Iranian state TV said on Sunday.

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Raisi was traveling in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province. State TV described the area of the incident happening as being near Jolfa, a city on the border with with the nation of Azerbaijan, some 600 kilometres (375 miles) northwest of the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Raisi had been in Azerbaijan early Sunday to inaugurate a dam with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. The dam is the third one that the two nations built on the Aras River.

Iran flies a variety of helicopters in the country, but international sanctions make it difficult to obtain parts for them. Its military air fleet also largely dates back to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Raisi, 63, is a hard-liner who formerly led the country’s judiciary. He is viewed as a protégé of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and some analysts have suggested he could replace the 85-year-old leader after his death or resignation from the role.

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