Raisi's chief of staff says he contacted imam of Tabriz Ayatollah Hashem after helicopter crash

Crash scene

© APA | Crash scene

# 22 May 2024 10:18 (UTC +04:00)

During a 21 May interview on the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN), the late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's Chief of Staff Gholam Hossein Esmaili said that during the flight they had continuous cell phone calls with the passengers, including the bodyguard, Mr. Abdollahian, the governor of East Azerbaijan, and the Friday imam of Tabriz, APA reports.

"However, we tried calling all of them without luck. After some tries, calling the cellphone of the captain accompanying the president, someone picked up the phone. It was Ayatollah Hashem, the Friday imam of Tabriz. He told us that he was not feeling well. He didn’t tell us anything special. I asked him what exactly had happened. He told us that he didn’t know what had happened, and when asked about his whereabouts, he said that he didn’t know. He only described what he could see, described to us what he saw, e.g. surrounded by trees. I asked him about the condition of the others, the Ayatollah replied that he was alone and couldn’t see anyone else," he said.

Note that on May 19, the helicopter carrying the President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi and a number of state officials crashed on May 19. As a result, all individuals in the helicopter, including the head of State Ebrahim Raisi and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian died.

They will be laid to rest today.

The causes of the accident are being investigated.

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