Governments, Officials React to Crash of Iranian President’s Helicopter

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Following are reactions from foreign governments and officials to the news that a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister crashed as it flew over mountainous terrain in heavy fog on Sunday.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

“The secretary-general is following reports of an incident with Iranian President Raisi’s aircraft with concern. He hopes for the safety of the president and his entourage,” a U.N. spokesperson said in a statement.

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Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry

“We are closely following with concern the reports regarding the helicopter carrying the Iranian president and his accompanying delegation. Kuwait expresses its wishes for their safety and its support for the Islamic Republic of Iran in this critical situation.”

Russian Foreign Ministry

“Russia is ready to extend all necessary help in the search for the missing helicopter and the investigation of the reasons for the incident,” foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a comment carried by Russia’s RIA news agency.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia affirms that it stands by the Islamic Republic of Iran during these difficult circumstances and is prepared to provide any assistance the Iranian services need,” the ministry said in a statement. It also said the Saudi government was following news reports regarding Raisi’s helicopter with “great concern.”

Turkey

“We hope that the Iranian officials, including Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, are safe and healthy,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said Iran had requested a night vision search-and-rescue helicopter from Turkey.

Qatari Foreign Ministry

“We express the State of Qatar’s deep concern regarding the Iranian president’s helicopter experiencing a difficult landing incident. We affirm the State of Qatar’s readiness to provide all forms of support in the search for the Iranian president’s aircraft. We express the State of Qatar’s wishes for the safety of the Iranian president, the foreign minister and their companions,” a ministry spokesperson said in a statement.

European Commission

The European commissioner for crisis management, Janez Lenarcic, said the commission had activated its satellite mapping service to aid search efforts, following a request for assistance from Iran. The Copernicus Emergency Management Service provides mapping products based on satellite imagery.

US State Department

“We are closely following reports of a possible hard landing of a helicopter in Iran carrying the Iranian president and foreign minister,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement.

US President Joe Biden

A spokesperson for President Biden, Karine Jean-Pierre, told reporters aboard Air Force One that the president had been briefed on the situation. She did not elaborate.

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev

(Raisi was returning from Iran’s border with Azerbaijan when his helicopter crashed).

“Today, after bidding a friendly farewell to the (visiting) President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, we were profoundly troubled by the news of a helicopter carrying the top delegation crash-landing in Iran.”

“Our prayers to Allah Almighty are with President Ebrahim Raisi and the accompanying delegation. As a neighbour, friend, and brotherly country, the Republic of Azerbaijan stands ready to offer any assistance needed.”

Iraqi government

The Iraqi government said in a statement it had instructed its interior ministry, the Red Crescent and other relevant bodies to offer help to neighbouring Iran in the search mission.

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