President sends prayers on safe return of Iran President

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu -- Photo/ President's Office

Maldives President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has extended prayers for the safe return of missing Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

Raisi, along with some of his government officials and bodyguards have been missing after the helicopter they traveled in, had to make a crash landing in the mountainous northwest reaches of Iran on Sunday.

Besides Raisi and his bodyguards, Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azerbaijan Governor Malik Ramati and the Imam of Jummah Mosque in Tabriz Ayatollah Aal Hasim along with intermediary-level officials traveled on board the now missing helicopter.

"I am saddened to hear the concerning news of the helicopter incident involving Presidenet of Iran, His Excellency Dr Ebrahim Raisi and senior delegation," President Muizzu said on X.

In his post on X, President Muizzu extended best wishes to the search and rescue operations, for the fast and safe recovery of the missing delegation.

Meanwhile, Iranian media reports Raisi's helicopter went missing on its way to Tehran after concluding a ceremony in East Azerbaijan.

Reports also claim temporary communication establishment, when a member from the missing delegation made a phone call to inform of their situation, noting they had to make a "hard landing" due to bad weather.

Iran's State TV has since reported the helicopter had landed somewhere in Jolfa, in East Azerbaijan, 600 kilometers away from the country's capital. The State TV however, later reported that the helicopter had landed somewhere near Uzi.

The Chief of East Azerbaijan's weather authority, Habib Abdulla said the crash site is expected to experience heavy rain and strong winds throughout the evening.

Earlier, it was reported that aerial search and rescue efforts are temporarily suspended owing to worsening weather conditions in the area.