The President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi, and his foreign minister have died in a helicopter crash after search teams located the wreckage in East Azerbaijan province Monday. The accident happened on Sunday in mountainous terrain and icy weather. “President Raisi, the foreign minister, and all the passengers in the helicopter were killed in the crash,” a senior Iranian official told Reuters, asking not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter. Iran’s Mehr news agency confirmed the deaths, reporting that “all passengers of the helicopter carrying the Iranian president and foreign minister were martyred”.

It was reported that the helicopter carrying Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian was completely burned in the crash on Sunday. Iran State TV also reported that images from the site showed the aircraft slammed into a mountain peak, although there was no official word on the cause of the crash.

Mr Raisi, 63, was said to be flying in a US-made Bell 212 helicopter. The helicopter – one of three traveling in a convoy – made a “hard landing” after it got into difficulties in heavy fog in the north of the country.

Mr Raisi was heading to the city of Tabriz, in the northwest of Iran, after returning from an Iran-Azerbaijan border area, according to local media.

Rescue teams fought blizzards and difficult terrain through the night to reach the wreckage in the early hours of Monday.“With the discovery of the crash site, no signs of life have been detected among the helicopter’s passengers,” the head of Iran’s Red Crescent, Pirhossein Kolivand, told state TV.

On Monday, the Iranian Red Crescent confirmed the bodies of the president and others who died in the crash had been recovered and search operations had ended."We are in the process of transferring the bodies of the martyrs to Tabriz [in Iran's northwest]," the organization's chief said on state television.

According to local media, he had been in the area to open the Qiz Qalasi and Khodaafarin dams. Ahead of the confirmation of the death, vigils had taken place in the capital, Tehran, with pictures showing people kneeling in prayer.