Rolling coverage: Pres. Raeisi, FM Amir-Abdollahian, companions die in chopper crash after night-long search op.

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian have died in a helicopter crash in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan.

The helicopter carrying President Raeisi and his accompanying delegation crashed on Sunday in the Dizmar forest, nestled between the cities of Varzaqan and Jolfa in East Azarbaijan Province.

It was transporting Raeisi, Amir-Abdollahian, East Azarbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati, Friday Prayers leader of the city of Tabriz Seyyed Mohammad Ali Al-e Hashem and a member of the president’s bodyguard team Mahdi Mousavi. The helicopter’s pilot, co-pilot and crew were also among others on board the chopper.

President Raeisi and his accompanying delegation were returning from a ceremony to inaugurate a dam on the Aras River with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

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