Monday Briefing: Iran’s President Is Missing After a Helicopter Crash

President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran last year.Credit…Maansi Srivastava/The New York Times

A helicopter carrying Iran’s president crashed

A helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran crashed in a remote part of the country yesterday, according to state media. The helicopter — which was also carrying the foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian — has not yet been found.

Here’s the latest.

It was not immediately known what caused the crash. State news reported that an enormous operation involving at least 20 search-and-rescue teams was underway, but that inclement weather was hampering the effort.

A delegation of ministers traveled with him in a convoy of three helicopters, state media reported, adding that the other two had reached their destinations.

Context: The crash came at a delicate moment for international relations — just days after senior U.S. and Iranian officials held talks through intermediaries to try to tamp down the threat of a wider conflict in the Middle East.

Raisi: He is the second most powerful individual in Iran’s political structure after the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Many analysts believed he was being groomed to become the next supreme leader.

Next steps: Iran’s law stipulates that if the president dies, power is transferred to the first vice president and that an election must be called within six months. The first vice president is Mohammad Mokhber, a conservative politician.

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