EntertainmentHelicopter Carrying Iran’s President Crashes

Helicopter Carrying Iran’s President Crashes

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash on May 19, 2024, in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province ¹ ². The president and eight others were likely traveling on an old Bell 212 helicopter that began operating in the late 1960s ¹. The helicopter was first produced in the United States and then in Canada ¹. The difficulty in obtaining spare parts could have played a factor in the crash ¹. The helicopter crashed in a remote part of the country on Sunday ¹.

What happened

Iran’s President Raisi and the country’s foreign minister were among the senior officials on board the downed helicopter ¹. Drone footage of the wreckage taken by the Red Crescent and carried on state media FARS News Agency showed the crash site on a steep, wooded hillside, with little remaining of the helicopter beyond a blue and white tail ¹. The helicopter ran into trouble in heavy fog while returning from a trip to the Iran-Azerbaijan border, Iranian officials said Sunday ². The crash prompted an hours-long search-and-rescue operation with assistance from the European Union and Turkey, among others, but emergency crews were hampered by the fog and plummeting temperatures ².


Iranian state broadcasters are airing Islamic prayers in between their news broadcasts following the announcement that President Ebrahim Raisi and eight others died after the helicopter they were traveling in crashed in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province ². Iran’s government convened an “urgent meeting” on Monday, according to Iranian state news agency IRNA ². The chair that Raisi usually sits in was vacant and draped with a black sash in memory of the president ². Iran’s stock market was also closed on Monday, according to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News, which cited a member of the stock exchange’s board of directors ².

How succession works in the case of a president’s death in Iran

The Iranian Constitution mandates that in the case of the death of the president, the first vice president shall assume, with the approval of the Supreme Leader, the powers and functions of the president ². First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber would assume the role if the current president dies and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approves ². The constitution mandates the three heads of the branches of government — the vice president, speaker of the parliament and the head of the judiciary — must arrange for an election to choose a new leader within 50 days of the vice president assuming the role of acting president ².


Iran will enter a “tumultuous period” following the crash of the helicopter carrying the country’s President Ebrahim Raisi ². The power struggle between different factions in the Islamic republic is surely going to heighten now ². There could be a lot of infighting but there would not be a constitutional crisis ². They will organize the elections (within) 50 days, so I don’t think you’ll have any a huge surprises there ². There might be occasions for popular protests again, as, as there often is when there’s a political crisis ². Raisi “had a lot of blood on his hands” ². Perhaps no other official of the Islamic Republic is responsible for more deaths because he was in the judiciary for many years ². And so a lot of Iranians are going to shed no tears ². But nevertheless it’s a momentous occasion ².

Latest Posts