He is considered an arch-conservative hardliner and has been President of Iran since 2021. Now a helicopter with Ebrahim Raisi on board had to make an emergency landing. Also there: Iran’s foreign minister.

A helicopter with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on board had to make an emergency landing in the west of the country on Sunday, according to state media reports. It was initially unclear whether Raisi was injured in the accident.

A large contingent of rescue workers is on the way to a helicopter with Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi on board that is believed to have had an accident. According to state television, the helicopter has now been found. The Iranian vice president also said that they had been in contact with the occupants of the helicopter. However, the fate of President Raisi remains unclear.

Dense fog on site makes the search difficult. Citizens were asked to pray for the president.

According to the information, Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian was also on board. Some media report a “hard landing”, others a “crash”.

According to Interior Minister Ahmad Wahidi, rescue workers do not have easy access to the crash site because of the weather. There is therefore no precise information about the situation on site. There were speculations on social media that something had happened to both President Raisi and Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian.

Raisi had previously been in the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan. There he met with the president of the neighboring country Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. Together they inaugurated a dam.

Raisi was sworn in as Iran’s new president in August 2021. The 63-year-old, ultra-conservative cleric officially became the successor to Hassan Ruhani, who was no longer allowed to run after two terms in office. As the leading candidate of the political hardliners and the preferred candidate and protégé of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Raisi won the presidential election in June with almost 62 percent of the vote.

Born in 1960 in Mashad in northeastern Iran, Raisi is considered very influential within the Islamic system. He also maintains a close relationship with Supreme Leader Khamenei. Raisi worked in the judiciary for over three decades and was appointed head of the judiciary in 2019. He is said to have been responsible for numerous arrests and executions of political dissidents in his previous role as a public prosecutor. According to the constitution, Raisi is only number two in the country because Khamenei is the actual head of state and also has the final say in all strategic matters.