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Helicopter carrying president of Iran has crashed

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Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi (Photo by ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images)

Iranian state television says the helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi had a “hard landing”, without elaborating. Iranian state TV says rescuers are trying to reach the site of a helicopter involved in an “incident” while travelling with the president.

Ebrahim Raisi assumed office on August 5, 2021. Before becoming president, Raisi had a long career in the Iranian judiciary, where he held several key positions, including serving as the Chief Justice of Iran from 2019 to 2021. He is also a member of the Assembly of Experts, the body responsible for selecting the Supreme Leader of Iran.

Raisi is known for his hardline stance and close alignment with the conservative factions in Iran. His presidency marks a continuation of the conservative dominance in Iranian politics, particularly in the context of the 2021 election, which was characterized by a limited field of candidates after several prominent reformist and moderate candidates were disqualified from running.

Throughout his career, Raisi has been associated with controversial judicial decisions. His presidency has focused on addressing Iran’s economic challenges, exacerbated by U.S. sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as pursuing a more confrontational foreign policy stance, particularly concerning negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.

Raisi’s administration aims to strengthen Iran’s self-reliance, improve economic conditions, and uphold the Islamic Republic’s principles against perceived Western encroachments. His leadership style and policies are seen as part of a broader effort to consolidate conservative power in Iran’s political landscape.