Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was killed on Sunday when a helicopter carrying him crashed.

Iranian semi-official broadcaster Tasnim reported that the President was on board the helicopter when it was involved in an accident in the East Azerbaijan province in northwest Iran.

Live updates:


12:00 p.m.: Iran's government cabinet appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani as acting foreign minister following the death of Hossein Amirabdollahian. Kani served as Deputy Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council from 2007 to 2013. He was the lead negotiator in the mediation between Iran and the United States in the September 2023 prisoner release deal.

10:17 a.m.: Video has been published online showing what would appear to be rescue teams reportedly carrying the body of one of the victims of the crash through the dense forest where it occurred.

10:00 a.m.: The acting president of Iran, according to the Iranian Constitution, is now Mohammad Mokhber, Iran's first vice president who, based on the country's constitution. As interim president, Mokhber will be part of a council, along with the speaker of parliament and the head of the judiciary, that will organize a new presidential election within 50 days of the president's death.

8:50 a.m.: The Hamas terror organization has released an official statement on the death of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Abdullahian: "Most sincere condolences and sympathies to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khamenei (Madazla Al-Aali) and the government and the nation. We are friends of Iran."

The statement added: "These martyrs were a collection of Iran's best leaders who had honorable positions in supporting the Palestinian issue, helping the struggle of our nation, and supporting the Palestinian resistance."

7:30 a.m.: Iranian state media has confirmed that President Raisi is dead, writing: "Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi Khadim al-Reza (peace be upon him), the eighth president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who suffered an air accident on Sunday evening, May 30th, on his way back from the opening ceremony of the Qiz Qalasi Dam to Tabriz city, in Warzaghan region of the East Azerbaijan province, together with all his companions, has reached the lofty position of martyrdom at the same time as the night of the birth of Imam Rauf Ali Ibn Musa al-Reza (peace be upon him)."

The report added: "Local sources who are currently present at the scene of the helicopter carrying the president confirmed the martyrdom of the president and his companions."

7:00 a.m.: An Iranian official told Reuters that President Raisi and Foreign Minister Abdullahian were killed in the helicopter crash on Sunday.

6:20 a.m.: Iranian television reported that there are "no signs" of life at the scene of the crash of President Raisi's helicopter.

6:09 a.m.: An Iranian official told the Reuters news agency that President Raisi's helicopter was completely burned and that the chances of him being found alive were slim.

6:00 a.m.: The chief of Iran’s Red Crescent said that the missing helicopter which was carrying President Ebrahim Raisi had been found but the situation is “not good”.

5:27 a.m.: Reports in Iran are indicating that rescue teams have arrived at the place where Raisi's helicopter crashed.

4:34 a.m.: A commander in the Iranian army, which is in charge of the searches for Raisi's helicopter, said, “We are thoroughly searching every inch of the general area of the crash. The area has very cold, rainy, and foggy weather conditions. The rain is gradually turning into snow."

3:50 a.m.: The Turkish news agency Anadolu reported that a Turkish drone detected a heat source, which is suspected to be part of the destroyed helicopter which carried the Iranian president.

2:38 a.m.: Russia announced that it is sending a team of rescuers to Iran to help search for the helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi.

"At the request of the Iranian side, rescuers from the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations will assist in the search and rescue operation," the ministry wrote in a statement published on Telegram.

The team, which "consists of 47 specialists with the necessary gear and equipment, all-terrain vehicles, as well as a BO-105 helicopter," will head to the northwest city of Tabriz, it added.

1:39 a.m.: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that intelligence authorities have informed him that there is "no evidence of foul play" in the crash of Raisi's helicopter.

"It was very bad, foggy weather, northwest Iran where the copter crashed. So it looks like an accident, but it’s still being fully investigated," Schumer said, as quoted by NBC News. "There’s an ongoing effort to locate the helicopter. They still haven’t done that, and I’ll keep monitoring the situation as it unfolds.”


10:40 p.m.: The Iranian military has reportedly detected signals from the helicopter and the mobile phone of a member of the flight crew.

Asghar Abbasgholizadeh, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Eastern Azerbaijan, told Tasnim: “We are now moving toward the area with all military forces and I hope we can give good news to the people.

“The area no longer has the capacity for more forces,” he added.

9:41 p.m.: The Iranian Red Crescent as well as Iranian state media have seemingly backtracked on previous statements and are now denying that Raisi's helicopter was found. Quoting Yaqub Soleimani, Secretary General of the Red Crescent Society, state media IRNA wrote: "15 quick response operational teams are present in the accident area. 5 operational teams of the Red Crescent have approached the coordinates announced by the Aerospace Organization. The National Red Crescent Emergency Management Headquarters has been formed and is fully prepared. We had reports of calls from people in the president's helicopter, which we are investigating."

9:33 p.m.: Anti-regime Iran International reported that Iran's Police Intelligence Organization announced that "all pages of those active on social media are under police surveillance, and individuals who publish rumors or attempt to disturb public opinion will be dealt with according to the law."

Additionally, the Tehran Prosecutor's Office issued a warned the press in a notice, stating: "In the past few hours, some media figures have published false news regarding the helicopter accident involving the president. As a result, the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office has issued warnings to several individuals for disturbing public opinion."

9:28 p.m.: According to Iranian state media, the exact location of the president's helicopter accident has been announced in an area between Ardeshir and Brazin in the Varzeghan province. According to the report, the area is rocky, foggy, and rainy, and these conditions have made it very difficult to provide relief. About 240 Red Crescent rescuers have been sent to the region and are stationed in the village of Uzi. Drone teams, rescue teams, and Red Crescent radio communication center are present in the area.

9:15 p.m.: Iranian rescue teams are reporting that they found President Raisi's helicopter. The head of the Iranian Red Crescent Relief and Rescue Organization announced the discovery of the location of the President's helicopter: "Minutes ago, the operational teams sent to the place reached the location of the crashed helicopter of the president and his entourage after hours of searching."

8:17 p.m.: Officials have told state media that efforts to find the president's helicopter are getting more complicated as the temperatures drop at night.

8:16 p.m.: The White House announced that US President Joe Biden was briefed on the reports of the crash of a helicopter carrying Iran's president.

7:30 p.m.: Al-Arabiya reported that the Iraqi Prime Minister says the country's capabilities are available to help Iran's efforts to locate the Iranian President’s helicopter.

7:13 p.m.: Iranian Minister of Health Bahram Ainullahi said regarding the latest measures to search for the president's helicopter crash site: "All the rescue forces are searching, but the area is extremely foggy and it is difficult to search."

He added: "All medical facilities including ambulances, doctors, emergency medical specialists, and other medical equipment have been deployed in the area so that the necessary measures will be taken as soon as the helicopter is found."

6:57 p.m.: Iranian media is reporting the Chief of Staff of the Iranian military, Mohammad Bagheri, has ordered the military to allocate all the military and IRGC resources to the search and rescue mission.

6:05 p.m.: An Iranian official has told Reuters that "the lives of Raisi and Amir-Abdollahian are at risk following the helicopter crash. We are still hopeful but information coming from the crash site is very concerning."

6:00 p.m.: Western sources say that they now estimate that President Raisi did not survive the crash. A US State Department spokesperson told CBS News that the US is "closely following reports of a possible hard landing of a helicopter in Iran carrying the Iranian president and foreign minister. We have no further comment at this time."

5:30 p.m.: An Iranian Red Crescent official told the Iranian Students News Agency that search and rescue dogs, drones, and rescue teams have been sent to the place and the search is continuing, but so far no helicopter or traces of it have been found.

5:19 p.m.: Iranian semi-official news agency Tasnim reported that Minister of Energy Ali Akbar Mehrabian and Minister of Transport Mehrdad Bazrpash Bazarpash who were present in other helicopters, had reached their destination safely.

4:45 p.m. Iranian Minister of Interior Ahmad Vahidi confirmed: "Today, we had the opening of the Qiz Qalasi Dam in the presence of the President of Azerbaijan, and after that, the President and his entourage were on the way back with several helicopters, one of which crashed due to bad weather."

He added: "Rescue teams were sent to the area, but due to the foggy and inhospitable nature of the area, it may take time to reach the helicopter."

According to the Minister: "We have communicated with the president's companions, but because the area is complicated, some communication is difficult and we are waiting for the rescue teams to reach the area of ​​the accident and helicopter landing and give us information."

4:29 p.m.: Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps affiliated Fars news agency as well as several other sources reported that communications with the pilots were lost.

4:00 p.m.: According to Tasnim, Red Crescent rescue forces and military and police auxiliary forces had begun a massive operation to find the helicopter.

According to the report, the convoy consisted of three helicopters, with the helicopter also carrying Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

According to the state broadcaster, individuals who were on the aircraft made contact after the incident, noting that the hope that the incident ended without loss of life has increased.

Islamic Republic News Agency, another regime affiliate, referred to the incident as a "hard landing."