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Putin spent 2 hours in meeting to help look for Raisi’s helicopter, Iranian envoy says

The Russian president said Moscow stood "shoulder to shoulder" with Tehran, Kazem Jalali said

DUBAI, May 21. /TASS/. The meeting that Russian President Vladimir Putin convened to help look for the crashed helicopter of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi lasted as long as about two hours, said Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Kazem Jalali.

"Putin called the meeting to get a sense of what kind of help Russia can provide to Iran in this disaster. The meeting went on for about two hours in Putin's office," the ambassador told IRIB television.

According to the diplomat, the meeting was attended by Russian Defense Minister Andrey Belousov, FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov, Emergency Situations Minister Alexander Kurenkov, Kremlin Advisor Igor Levitin and Security Council Secretary Sergey Shoigu.

The Russian president said Moscow stood "shoulder to shoulder" with Tehran and was ready to send any equipment to search for Raisi's helicopter, the ambassador said. Jalali said he thanked Putin for the support, and the head of state brushed it off, saying Russia and Iran are friends.

On May 19, a helicopter carrying the Iranian president crashed in Iran’s Eastern Azerbaijan Province. Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azerbaijan Province Governor Malek Rahmati and Tabriz Imam Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem were also onboard the helicopter. Iranian Red Crescent Society head Pir Hossein Kolivand said that all passengers and crew of the helicopter were killed in the crash. A commission has been created to investigate the causes of the disaster. First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber became the acting President of Iran. Early presidential elections are scheduled for June 28.