Middle East

Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in helicopter scare

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Image caption Mr Ahmadinejad is believed to have returned to Tehran by road

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a group of government officials has been forced to make an emergency landing in a mountainous region in northern Iran.

No-one was hurt in the incident on Sunday, the president's website said.

The pilot reportedly managed to land the helicopter safely in the Alborz mountain range.

Mr Ahmadinejad is coming to the end of his second and final term as the nation's president.

He was on his way to inaugurate three road projects, including Iran's biggest road tunnel, in Mazandaran province, when the helicopter came down, reports said.

"The president and his accompanying delegation are in perfect health and the crashed helicopter stayed at the crash site for repairs," the news agency Mehr said.

It was unclear what caused the emergency landing.

Mr Ahmadinejad is believed to have returned to Tehran by road.

Eight approved candidates are standing for president in elections in June.

Mr Ahmadinejad's term in office ends in August as constitutional limits bar him from standing for a third time.

His ally, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, has been barred by the country's Guardian Council from standing, as has former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.