Helicopter in Iranian president’s convoy in accident, says state TV

DUBAI, May 19 - Iran's state television reported that one of the helicopters in the convoy carrying President Ebrahim Raisi was involved in an accident. No further details were immediately provided about the nature of the incident or whether the president was aboard that particular helicopter. The convoy was traveling in northwestern Iran.

There were 3 helicopters in this convoy, and two helicopters carrying some ministers and officials arrived safely at their destination, Iran's Tasnim's news agency said. The agency said that, the Iranian President, accompanied by his Azerbaijani counterpart inaugurated on Sunday a water dam on the border between the two countries. The incident happened after the end of the opening ceremony.

Initial reports indicate a hard landing incident involving the helicopter carrying the president, the agency SNN reported. The news comes amid high tensions between Iran and its archenemy Israel, just weeks after Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles on Israel in retaliation for an alleged assasssination of an Iranian general. The Iranian missile barrage was soon folllowed by an apparent Israeli counterstrike on a site in Isfahan, reportedly using three missiles that targeted a site not far from one of its main nuclear facilities. Israel has not directly acknowledged the attack but has repeatedly warned it will take action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

For years, Iran and Israel have engaged in a shadow war, with Iran supporting militant groups like Hezbollah and Hamas that oppose Israel. Israel has carried out strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities and assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists in an effort to curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions. Both sides have warned of open conflict if the other crosses certain red lines.

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