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Top Iran leader assures people after Raisi’s helicopter accident

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Tehran: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has prayed for the safe return of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi after his helicopter made a “rough landing” a day ago in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan.

Khamenei told Iranian people not to be worried as there would be no disruption in the country’s affairs.

“I pray that the respected president and those accompanying him would return to the arms of the nation,” Khamenei made the remarks in a Sunday meeting with the families of members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the capital Tehran, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

The state-run IRIB TV reported on Sunday that a helicopter carrying Raisi and his team suffered an incident in East Azarbaijan and made a “hard landing.”

The possible site of the incident has been determined to be in Varzaqan, some 670 km away from Tehran, and rescue teams have been dispatched to the scene, the report said.

The accident happened as the president’s convoy, comprising three helicopters, was on its way from Khoda Afarin County, where Raisi attended the inauguration ceremony of a storage dam along with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev earlier in the day, to the provincial capital Tabriz for the inauguration of a petrochemical complex.

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Mohammad Baqeri has ordered the army, the IRGC, and the police to make all-out efforts to search for and rescue the president and his accompanying team, said the Iran Newspaper.

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