Following a helicopter accident, Iranian authorities have confirmed the death of President Ebrahim Raisi. On Monday, May 20, Raisi, aged 63, and six others, including 60-year-old Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, were found in the blazing wreckage. This information emerged after a prolonged search for the officials, whose helicopter crashed in northwest Iran, as reported by the Associated Press and the BBC.

The crash occurred on Sunday, May 19, in a mountainous region, and initial efforts to locate the crash site were hindered by dense fog. A drone image released by Turkish authorities on Monday morning showed a fire on a steep slope, 12 miles south of the Azerbaijan-Iran border, which officials suspected to be the helicopter wreckage.

Upon arrival at the crash site, the Red Crescent Society found “no signs of life” and reported that the helicopter had been “completely burned,” according to The Independent. Among the victims were the governor of East Azerbaijan province and three crew members, as reported by the state-sponsored Iranian news agency IRNA. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

In the wake of President Raisi’s death, Mohammad Mokhber, the first vice president of Iran, is expected to assume the presidency until the next democratic election.

Iran President Ebrahim Raisi Dead After Helicopter Crash

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, announced five days of mourning following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi. Khamenei, 85, expressed his condolences on X (formerly Twitter), stating, “This unfortunate incident occurred during a service attempt; The entire period of responsibility of this noble and selfless person, both during the short term of the presidency and before that, was completely spent in #non-stop_effort in serving the people, the country, and Islam.”

Khamenei praised Raisi’s dedication, noting that “fatigue” was not part of his vocabulary. He emphasized that the Iranian people lost a sincere and significant servant in this tragic event. Despite facing ungratefulness and taunts, Raisi continued his tireless efforts to improve the nation, valuing the people’s goodwill and satisfaction, which he believed symbolized the satisfaction of God.

Elected as Iran’s seventh president in 2021, Raisi’s tenure was marked by his controversial past, including his involvement in the mass executions of political prisoners during the Iran-Iraq conflict in 1988, which led to U.S. sanctions against him.

Raisi is survived by his wife, Jamileh Alamolhoda, and their two daughters.