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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi confirmed dead in helicopter crash

Known as 'the butcher of Tehran', he was 63 years old and was seen as the successor to the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.

El presidente de Irán

Ebrahim Raisi, president of Iran, in 2022. (Cordon Press)

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi died on Sunday at the age of 63. The official was traveling by helicopter when it was reported that he had suffered a crash landing. Hours later, after much uncertainty and a myriad of theories, his death was confirmed.

Raisi had traveled to the province of East Azerbaijan, where he had inaugurated a dam together with President Ilham Aliev, on the border between the two countries.

State television initially reported that “some unconfirmed reports say that the helicopter carrying President Raisi had an accident in East Azerbaijan province”.

Raisi, 63, had an extensive political career in his country, where he was noted for his repression of dissent, for pushing the nuclear program and even for being a member of a 'Death Commission', responsible for thousands of assassinations.

Because of his extensive career and political and personal relationship, he was seen as the natural successor to the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. Traveling with Raisi was Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, who also died in the accident.

“It looks like an accident”

One of the first U.S. leaders to react was Chuck Schumer, Democratic majority leader in the Senate.

Before the death was confirmed, the senator noted that the helicopter incident looked like “an accident” and that intelligence authorities have told him that “there is no indication of foul play.”