Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi dies in helicopter crash

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Kathmandu: President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, 63, has died in a helicopter crash on Monday.

Also killed in the crash is Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, along with seven others, CNN said  quoting the government of Iran.

Due to the bad weather, the helicopter carrying Raisi and other senior officials was forced into a hard landing in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan on Sunday.

Raisi, as reported, was on his way from Khoda Afarin County, where he had attended the inauguration ceremony of a storage dam, to the provincial capital Tabriz for the inauguration of a petrochemical complex.

His death comes at a fraught moment in the Middle East, with war raging in Gaza. The helicopter crashed weeks after Iran launched a drone-and-missile attack on Israel in response to a deadly strike on its diplomatic compound in Damascus, said CNN adding Raisi was the second-most powerful person in the Islamic Republic’s political structure after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.