Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi dies at 63 in helicopter crash

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line protégé of the country's supreme leader who helped oversee the mass executions of thousands in 1988 and later led the country as it enriched uranium near weapons-grade levels and launched a major drone-and-missile attack on Israel, has died. He was 63.

Raisi's sudden death, along with Iran's foreign minister and other officials in the helicopter crash Sunday in northwestern Iran, came as Iran struggles with internal dissent and its relations with the wider world. A cleric first, Raisi once kissed the Quran, the Islamic holy book, before the United Nations and spoke more like a preacher than a statesman when addressing the world.

Read more🔴 Live: Iran state media confirms death of President Raisi in helicopter crash

Raisi, who earlier lost a presidential election to the relatively moderate incumbent Hassan Rouhani in 2017, ended up coming to power four years later in a vote carefully managed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to clear any major opposition candidate.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

(AP)


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