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Crisis in Iran

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Well, this seems like a problem.

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi crashed while visiting a northern region and his condition is currently unknown, Iranian state news agency IRNA reported Sunday.

The aircraft, which was also carrying Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, came down in East Azerbaijan Province and emergency crews have so far been unable to reach it due to foggy conditions, IRNA said. It is unclear what the exact status is of Raisi’s helicopter.

Twenty rescue teams and drones have been sent to the area where the helicopter came down.

The pair along with a group of dignitaries were onboard the helicopter returning from a ceremony for an opening of a dam on Iran’s border with Azerbaijan when it “crashed upon landing in Varzaqan region on Sunday,” IRNA English reported.

“20 rescue teams and drones have been sent to the area, but due to the impassability of the area, its mountainous and forest conditions, as well as unfavorable weather conditions, especially heavy fog, the search and rescue operation will take time,” IRNA said.

IRNA also reported, citing locals, the helicopter crashed in the Dizmar Forest area between the villages of Ozi and Pir Davood. Residents in northern Varzeqan, East Azerbaijan Province, said they heard noises from the area, it added.

Little reason to think Raisi survived. We will know more soon though. Seems like this is worthy of a thread. I have no idea what this means for internal Iranian politics. Some of you probably do.

Update by Farley: Loomis was seconds ahead of me. I have no idea what this means for Iranian politics, or for the balance of terror in the Middle East. I would also be hesitant at this point to push back hard against skepticism that the helicopter crash was accidental; you never know what’s going through the heads of the Israeli/Saudi/Iranian intelligencer officers who might be inclined to pull something like this off. At the same time, when everyone and their damned brother screeches “Israel did this!” please continue to exercise your skeptic muscles.

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