Several nations offer support, prayers to Iran in wake of president’s helicopter crash

Several leaders in Asia and Europe offered their support and prayers to Iran as the country continues rescue operations for a helicopter that crashed while carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Sunday.

Raisi was traveling in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province on his way back from a ceremony to open a dam at Iran’s border with Azerbaijan, when the helicopter apparently crashed in the mountainous northwest part of Iran on Sunday, according to state-run media.

The conditions of Raisi, or that of the other passengers, who included Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, and other officials and bodyguards, remain unknown.

Dozens of rescue crews were called to the apparent area of the crash, though weather conditions have made the operation more difficult, officials told state news outlets.

Turkey’s disaster and emergency management agency on Sunday said it would send 32 mountaineer search-and-rescue employees and six vehicles to Iran to assist in the operations. A group of other employees are also standing by as needed, the agency said on the social platform X.

Armenia and Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministries separately said they were prepared to provide support.

Janez Lenarcic, the EU commissioner for crisis management, said on X the body is using its satellite mapping service in the reported area of the crash.

A spokesperson for the Iraqi prime minister confirmed the country’s Interior Ministry directed resources from the Iraqi Red Crescent Society to be available to assist in the search, CNN reported.

“We made a phone call with the Iranian Ambassador, Mr. Mohammad Kazem Al Sadiq, who is in Tehran, to learn about the developments of the incident. We confirmed Iraq’s support and all possible efforts to provide assistance in the search operations,” Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid wrote on X.

Nechirvan Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, said he is “monitoring” the news about the crash, writing, “I pray to the Almighty for their safety and well-being.”

Pakistani leaders also voiced their support, despite tense relations between the nation and Iran after a series of strikes earlier this year, per CNN.

“My heartfelt prayers & good wishes for the well-being & safety of President Raisi so that he may continue to serve the Iranian nation,” President Asif Ali Zardari wrote on X.

“Waiting with great anxiety for good news that all is well. Our prayers and best wishes are with Hon. President Raisi and the entire Iranian nation,” Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif added on X.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.