Iranian authorities have confirmed that the country’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, did not survive a helicopter crash which also killed foreign affairs minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

The aircraft, a Bell 212, came down in the Varzeghan region of East Azerbaijan province, in the far north of Iran on 19 May.

Iran’s presidential office says Raisi was “martyred” while in service to the nation.

The office also says those lost included the helicopter pilots, and other officials – among them the regional governor general.

It states that Raisi had travelled to the province to inaugurate construction projects, and attend a ceremony at the new Giz Galasi dam which lies on the Aras river running along the Iranian-Azerbaijani border.

Images carried on Iranian media, purportedly captured by drone cameras, indicate the helicopter was destroyed, with just the rear tail-boom recognisable, as it crashed in woodland on a remote peak.

While Iranian authorities have yet to ascertain the cause of the crash, the helicopter had been travelling through mountainous terrain with the area affected by heavy fog.

Raisi Helicopter

Source: Iranian state media

Raisi’s helicopter, reportedly departing on 19 May