A video released by Iranian state media shows President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and their entourage aboard the helicopter that would soon crash on the border with Azerbaijan. The clip lasts only a few seconds and features the passengers on board the plane which subsequently crashed. According to initial reconstructions, the cause could be linked to bad weather: heavy rain and thick fog. However, there is so far no independent confirmation of what actually happened. Raisi was in Azerbaijan early this morning to inaugurate a dam with his Baku counterpart, Ilham Aliyev. Around 40 rescue teams were dispatched to search for the helicopter and its occupants. “We have had contact with officials on board, but due to bad weather it will take some time to reach them,” Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said. He added: “Due to poor weather conditions and heavy fog, it is not possible to carry out air rescue operations and searches continue on the ground.” THE Tehran Timetable reported that for hours there has been no contact with the satellite phone provided to the president and his men. Experts point out that the fleet of helicopters and planes supplied to Iran, including state ones, is old and that due to international sanctions against the country, Tehran finds it difficult to supply new vehicles or spare parts necessary to ensure proper maintenance.

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