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Helicopter crash that killed Iran President caused due to ’technical failure’

Mangalore Today News Network / India Today

Iran, May 21, 2024: The helicopter in which Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, along with other officials and crew members were travelling, crashed due to a "technical failure", the Iranian state media reported.


Raisi and Amirabdollahian were en route to Iran after their visit to Azerbaijan border where they inaugurated a dam project. Their chopper crashed into the mountainous terrain in northwest Iran’s Jolfa and after hours of a massive search operation amid inclement weather, rescue teams spotted the site. No survivors were found.

The sudden demise of two of the most influential figures in Iran came at a time when tensions grip the Middle East. Iranian Vice President Mohammad Mokhber has been named as acting President, with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, asking him to ensure the election of a new President takes place within 50 days, state media reported.

Here are the top five developments in Iran President Ebrahim Raisi’s death:

1. The Bell 212 aircraft that crashed was developed for the Canadian military in the late 1960s as an upgrade of another aircraft. The model is a two-blade twin-engine medium helicopter with up to 15 seats that first flew in 1968, according to Skybrary, an aviation database. The helicopter was reportedly US-designed.

2. The US and Israel have remarked that they were not involved in the chopper crash in Raisi. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters Monday that America "had no part to play" in the crash and the Pentagon had no insight into the cause, The Washington Post reported. An Israeli official also said that the Jewish nation was not involved in the death of Raisi.

3. The death of Raisi, who was close to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and seen as his successor, raised concerns about who may replace him. With the demise of the 63-year-old, the prime candidate to succeed Khamenei is his 55-year-old son, Mojtaba. However, there are concerns over the position going to a family member, especially after the revolution overthrew the hereditary Pahlavi monarchy of the shah, The Associated Press reported.

4. Iran has called for five days of mourning for President Raisi’s demise starting from Tuesday all the way through Thursday. However, the public spectre of grief was muted on Monday with most shops open and children attending schools. Later on Monday, hundreds of mourners crowded in Tehran with posters of Raisi and waving Palestinian flags.

5. The US condoled the death of Raisi, Amirabdollahian and others, and reiterated its position for a society in Iran under a "new president" where fundamental freedom is present. In a daily press briefing, US State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller was more vocal about Raisi’s track record, The New York Times reported.

"Some of the worst human rights abuses occurred during his (Ebrahim Raisi) tenure as president — especially the human rights abuses against the women and girls of Iran. That said, we regret any loss of life, and don’t want to see anyone die in a helicopter crash," Miller added.

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