Azerbaijan, Armenia offer help to locate Iranian resident’s crashed helicopter

  • 20 May, 07:06

Armenia and Azerbaijan have offered help to to search for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi after the helicopter carrying him crashed on Sunday. Raisi was returning from the trip to neighbouring Azerbaijan when his helicopter crashed in Iran’s western province of East Azerbaijan due to making “hard landing”. Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and two other officials were also onboard.

Raisi and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev had cut ribbon on a new dam on the two countries’ border on the day of the crash.

“Today, after bidding a friendly farewell to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, we were profoundly troubled by the news of a helicopter carrying the top delegation crash-landing in Iran," Aliyev said on social media. "The Republic of Azerbaijan stands ready to offer any assistance needed," he added.

Armenia's foreign ministry said Yerevan was "shocked by the news coming from Iran". "As rescue operations continue, Armenia, as a close and friendly neighbour of Iran, is ready to provide all necessary support," the ministry said on X, formerly Twitter.

The search operation for the crashed helicopter has been hampered due to unfavourable weather conditions. A rescue helicopter tried to reach the area where authorities believe the helicopter is, but it couldn't land due to heavy mist, emergency services' spokesman Babak Yektaparast told IRNA. Late in the evening, Turkey's defence ministry announced that it had sent a drone to help and was also preparing to send a helicopter with night vision capabilities. Missing in the helicopter are also East Azerbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, representative of Iranian Supreme Leader to East Azerbaijan.

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