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Helicopter carrying Iran president makes hard landing, state TV reports, rescue underway

Iranian President Raisi's helicopter makes "hard landing" in misty forest. Urgent rescue efforts underway. Prayers requested as Iran faces internal and external challenges.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was involved in a "hard landing" incident while traveling in a helicopter in Iran's East Azerbaijan province. The exact details of the incident were not immediately clear, but rescue crews were dispatched to the misty, rural forest area where the helicopter was believed to have landed.

This incident comes at a time of heightened tensions in the region, with Iran recently launching a drone-and-missile attack on Israel and enriching uranium to levels closer to weapons-grade. The country has also faced ongoing protests against its government over economic issues and women's rights, adding to the sensitivity of the situation.

Raisi was accompanied by Iran's Foreign Minister and other officials when the incident occurred. While details about Raisi's condition were not immediately available, state media urged the public to pray for his well-being. Rescue efforts were hindered by poor weather conditions, including heavy rain, fog, and wind.

The president had been in the region to inaugurate a dam with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, despite strained relations between the two countries. Iran's military fleet faces challenges due to international sanctions, making it difficult to maintain and obtain parts for its helicopters.

Raisi, a hard-liner and former judiciary leader, has faced criticism for his involvement in the execution of political prisoners in the past. His presidency has been marked by increased uranium enrichment, military actions in the region, and ongoing protests within Iran.

The U.S. State Department is monitoring the situation closely, as the incident involving the Iranian president unfolds. The complexities of the political landscape in the Middle East add to the uncertainty surrounding the incident and its implications for the region.

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