‘National tragedy’: RT reports from Iran after death of its president

Abbas Juma, RT.com

RT correspondent Abbas Juma, who was in Iran on assignment when President Raisi’s helicopter crashed, describes the disbelief that enveloped the nation when the news broke.

For now, the world waits for the investigation results and the upcoming presidential election.

Throughout the night of May 19-20, Iranian rescue teams searched through dense fog for the wreckage of the helicopter carrying the president and the foreign minister. The search was hindered by the weather conditions and terrain, with the rain-soaked ground impeding both personnel and equipment. Meanwhile, Iranians across the country prayed, wept, and anxiously awaited news.

Hope and loss — During the night, prominent and reputable regional and global media outlets, in a frenzy for sensational updates, disseminated inaccurate information about the search efforts. Some later hurriedly removed these reports. Social media was flooded with hastily fabricated falsehoods, fueled by opponents of the Iranian government. According to one widely spread rumor, mass celebrations erupted in Tehran, with claims that people were rejoicing over the president’s death and launching fireworks.

Refuting these blatant lies was not difficult, as I spent the night on Valiasr Street, one of Tehran’s main thoroughfares. Loudspeakers broadcasting prayers were promptly set up in the square, and journalists actively gathered the views of residents who had come out to support the president.

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