News ID: 127523
Publish Date : 19 May 2024 - 22:49

World in Prayer for President Raisi

TEHRAN -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khemenei on Sunday expressed sympathies to the Iranian nation after the helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi went missing in a mountainous region in northwest Iran.
“We hope that the Almighty God returns the respected and esteemed President and his companions to the embrace of the nation,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a message. 
The Leader urged all Iranians to pray for the health and safety of President Raisi and other public servants on the helicopter.
“The Iranian nation should not be worried or anxious, there will be no disruption to the work of the country,” he said.
 The helicopter carrying President Raisi and his foreign minister crashed while crossing mountainous terrain, and the rescue operation was being hampered by thick fog and heavy rain.
The country’s interior minister, Ahmed Vahidi, said that the aircraft had experienced a rough landing.
Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azarbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati and Muhammad Ali Ale-Hashem, the representative of the Leader to the province, were in the same helicopter as Raisi.
The aircraft was in Iran’s East Azarbaijan province at the time. The incident happened near the city of Jolfa, some 600km northwest of the Iranian capital.
President Raisi, 63, visited the East Azerbaijan province on Sunday to inaugurate a dam project with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliev, on the border between the two countries.
Tasnim news agency reported that the crash area was in a difficult-to-access terrain, posing challenges for the rescue teams. Initial reports had said rescue teams were being hampered by difficult weather conditions.
As it got darker, the rescue operation had gotten increasingly difficult and risky, as crew were approaching the site on foot and
 avoiding travel by car, due to unpaved roads and the rain making the grounds muddy and impassible, the national television reported.
Iran’s Red Crescent said it has lost contact with three members of the search and rescue teams because of bad weather and the thick fog.
An emergency service spokesperson earlier told Tasnim that an emergency air ambulance was dispatched to the area, “but unfortunately, due to heavy fog, further aerial operations were not possible”.
The spokesperson added that eight emergency ambulances from the city of Tabriz had been sent to the area, as well as emergency rescue teams to conduct a search of the area and provide urgent medical services.
Iranian army chief of staff Major General Muhammad Bagheri ordered the utilization of all resources of the army and the IRGC to aid with the rescue and search operation efforts, state media reported.
Following the reports, Fars news agency and Raisi’s Instagram page called on Iranians to pray for the president, who has been in office since June 2021. National media also aired prayers being held for the safety of the president around the country.
Speaking to Mehr news agency, the head of Iran’s relief and rescue organization asked Iranians to follow the news on official media and “under no circumstances go to the area to avoid interference with the rescue operation”.
Official media also reported that the Iranian government cancelled a planned cabinet meeting and instead convened an emergency meeting with its crisis management committee.
As the news of the incident broke, people took to various social media platforms to pray for the safety of the president and those accompanying him.
 “Humanity is with Raeisi,” wrote Rev Laskaris, a U.S.-based social media influencer, on X.
“Pray for Iranian President Raisi,” tweeted Ehsan Safarenejad, an Iranian geopolitical analyst.
“Pray for Iranian President Raisi & Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian,” wrote Jackson Hinkle, a prominent U.S.-based social media influencer and commentator.
“Please pray for Jenab Ebrahim Raisi [@raisi_com], a true supporter of Palestine and the oppressed people of the world,” posted Sajjad Kargili, a political activist based in Kargil, India.
“I hope the President and the Foreign Minister of Iran are safe. President Raisi just visited Azerbaijan and together with the President of Azerbaijan, they inaugurated a dam on the border between the two countries. Then he returned to Iran by helicopter, and FM Abdollahian, was also on the plane,” tweeted Hu Xijin, the former chief editor of the Chinese state-run daily Global Times.
“Pray for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Pray for Iranian President, Ibrahim Raisi. Pray for his safety and his entourage,” wrote Ahmed Jahaf, a Yemen-based journalist.
“A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is missing somewhere in Azerbaijan. Control room trying to contact the crew. Let’s pray for the safety of all staff inside,” tweeted Syed Zaigham Kazmi, a London-based social media user.
“Pray for the safety of Ibrahim Raisi,” wrote Huma Zehra, an X user from Pakistan.
“Some miracle will happen! Let’s pray for the safety and security of the #Iran’s President #Raisi and others accompanying him,” wrote Dr. Alyan Yashin, a social media user, sharing photos of President Raeisi and three of his companions on board the helicopter.