Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi died after his helicopter crashed in a mountainous area on Sunday, Reuters reported.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azerbaijan province’s Governor Malek Rahmati and Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, the representative of Iran’s supreme leader to the province, were also killed in the incident, Al Jazeera quoted state media as having reported.

The area was covered in heavy fog, which complicated rescue efforts on Sunday. The crash took place near Jolfa in the country’s East Azerbaijan province on Sunday, and a rescue team reached the wreckage of the helicopter on Monday.

“With the discovery of the crash site, no signs of life have been detected among the helicopter's passengers,” Pirhossein Kolivand, the head of Red Crescent, a non-governmental humanitarian organisation in Iran, told state TV, Reuters reported.

Raisi, 63, had been Iran’s president since August 2021. On Sunday, he and his officials were on their way back to Tehran from a visit to Azerbaijan where they met his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev.

Under the Iranian Constitution, if the president dies, Iran’s vice president takes over and a new presidential election will be called within 50 days, reported Al Jazeera.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed his condolences to Raisi’s family and the people of Iran. “His [Raisi’s] contribution to strengthening India-Iran bilateral relationship will always be remembered,” Modi said in a social media post. “India stands with Iran in this time of sorrow.”