Iran's Ahmadinejad unhurt as chopper forced to land
TEHRAN – Agence France-Presse
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. AFP PhotoPresident Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing in northeast Iran on Sunday after an unspecified "accident", the presidency reported, adding that he was unhurt.
"The helicopter carrying Dr Ahmadinejad and a number of officials on Sunday had an accident, but the pilot managed to land the aircraft safely," the website president.ir reported, without elaborating.
He had been en route to inaugurate a local project in a mountainous region of northeast Iran when the incident occurred.
"With God's help the president and the officials accompanying him were not hurt. After the landing the president inaugurated the project and returned to Tehran by car," the website added.
Iranian state television showed footage of Ahmadinejad flanked by his ministers and other officials inaugurating the tunnel.
It did not give further details of the incident nor specify the make of helicopter.
The Islamic republic has been subject to harsh international sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme, with spare parts for both military and civilian aircraft affected.
Iran maintains that in addition to buying planes and helicopters from Russia, China and Ukraine, it can also manufacture aircraft including drones domestically despite the sanctions.
Ahmadinejad is coming to the end of his second term as president of the Islamic republic.
Eight approved candidates are standing for president in an election on June 14, and Ahmadinejad's term in office ends on August 3.