Iran launches probe into helicopter crash killing Raisi, senior officials

NDMO says all bodies including Raisi’s are identifiable, hence, there is no need for DNA test

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A view of the wreckage of Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi's helicopter at the crash site on a mountain in Varzaghan area, northwestern Iran, on May 20, 2024. —Wana/Reuters
  • Iran decides to hold presidential polls on Jun 28.
  • Iranian armed force' chief constitutes probe team. 
  • Report of incident’s probe would be made public.

TEHRAN: Iran has launched an investigation into the helicopter crash incident which killed President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other senior officials. 

Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri has constituted an investigation committee headed by Brigadier Ali Abdollahi. The report of the incident’s probe would be made public.

Earlier, the Iranian state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) had reported that the chopper faced the accident because of “technical failure”.

Raisi and the other high officials were returning after attending an inauguration ceremony of a dam on Iran’s border with the Republic of Azerbaijan when the chopper crashed while flying through a mountainous terrain amid heavy fog in the Varzaqan region of the country's East Azerbaijan province on Sunday afternoon. 

All passengers, including Raisi, were declared dead when charred wreckage of the Bell 212 helicopter was found early on Monday after an overnight search in blizzard conditions.

The funeral procession for President Raisi will be held in Tehran on Tuesday (today).

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran's nuclear programme, announced a five-day mourning period. 

'All bodies identifiable'

On identification of bodies, Head of National Disaster Management Organisation (NDMO) Dr Mohammad Hassan Nami said all the bodies including Raisi’s were identifiable, hence, there was no need for their DNA test.

Nami said body of Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Al-Hashem, representative of the Iranian supreme leader to East Azerbaijan, was found in the best condition as he was still alive after one hour of the crash.

Ali even called the head of the president office after the accident and talked to him, he added.

Presidential polls to be on Jun 28

Meanwhile, Iran's Interim President Mohammad Mokhber chaired a high-level meeting regarding the presidential election in the country. The parliament’s speaker and head of judiciary also attended the forum.

The meeting decided to hold presidential elections in Iran on June 28.

“Registration for the presidential candidates will be held from May 30 to June 3 and campaign for the elections would be run from June 12 to 27,” it decided.