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Putin: Russia ready to do whatever necessary to help Iran

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a government meeting via videocon)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with Iran's Ambassador to Moscow Kazem Jalali and expressed sadness over the helicopter accident carrying President Ebrahim Raeisi, and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in northwestern Iran.

President Putin on Sunday evening invited Ambassador Jalali to his office in the Kremlin and examined the dimensions of the incident and told him that Russians are ready to do whatever is necessary to help Iran.

A helicopter carrying Raeisi, Amir-Abdollahian, East Azarbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati, Friday Prayers leader of Tabriz city Mohammad Ali Al-e Hashem and several other passengers crash-landed in East Azarbaijan on Sunday.

Even though Sunday was a holiday in Russia, President Putin held a meeting with the ambassador in the presence of the senior defense and security officials at 10:00 PM on Sunday.

President Putin told the Iranian ambassador that they were extremely saddened by the accident with the Islamic Republic of Iran's helicopter and that they would do whatever was necessary to help.

Putin said Russians are very worried and upset in this regard and requested the ambassador to convey his message to the Supreme Leader that they are ready to do whatever is necessary.

The Russian president said has prepared 2 planes to fly with a 50-strong relief and rescue team to East Azerbaijan’s capital Tabriz to assist the Iranian rescuers.

The helicopter that was transporting President Raeisi and Amir-Abdollahian alongside others encountered some difficulties and was forced to make a "hard landing" in the northwestern Iranian province of East Azerbaijan’s city of Jolfa on Sunday.

So far, many countries have offered to join search operations for the missing chopper.

Also on Monday, Turkey said it was sending 32 mountain rescue specialists to help with the operations.

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