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Former Iranian Official Blames US for President’s Death

A former Iranian diplomat is putting some of the blame for the Sunday death of the country’s president at the feet of the United States, according to a report.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was traveling with Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six other individuals when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed into a mountain in the country’s northwest near Iran’s border with Azerbaijan.

State Department spokesman Matt Miller offered “condolences” on behalf of the U.S. government upon hearing the news.

But it did not take long for one former Iranian official to point the finger at Washington.

Citing Iranian state media, Business Insider reported on Monday morning that the country’s former foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, blamed U.S. sanctions that prevent the country from buying newer aircraft for forcing Raisi and the others to fly in a decades-old Bell 212 chopper.

The helicopters were made in the U.S. between 1968 and 1998.

It was not clear what year the model Raisi was traveling in when it went down on Sunday, but Zarif told his country’s media that U.S. sanctions imposed in 1979 after the Iranian Revolution have kept the country from operating fleets of modern aircraft.

The official told an Iranian TV station that Raisi’s death in the outdated chopper would be “recorded in the black list of American crimes against the Iranian nation.”

The Associated Press spoke to Zarif on Monday and he doubled down on blaming America for the crash.

“One of the main culprits of yesterday’s tragedy is the United States, which … embargoed the sale of aircraft and aviation parts to Iran and does not allow the people of Iran to enjoy good aviation facilities,” he told the AP.

The wire service reported Bell 212 helicopters such as the one that killed Raisi are commonly used by Tehran.

Iran’s aircraft are outdated, and flights often take off without safety checks that are routine in countries with more up-to-date aviation sectors.

At least 15 Bell 212 helicopters with an average age of 35 years old are believed to be operating in the country, according to the AP.

Because sanctions prevent Iran from ordering newer aircraft, parts for repairs for the choppers are often purchased on the international black market.

No official cause for Sunday’s crash has been announced.

USA Today reported the helicopter that crashed was one of three traveling together in a convoy.

The three choppers were navigating the mountainous region in heavy fog and in “blizzard conditions,” it said.

After a search that began on Sunday, the remains of Raisi and the seven others were located early Monday morning.

Raisi came to power in 2021 and was viewed by many as a successor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Reuters reported.

Celebrations broke out after the leader’s death was reported.

READ 32 COMMENTS
  • Michael says:

    Blaming the US is just plain stupid. I’m sure Russia would sell one of their fine, modern helicopters to Iran.

  • See more says:

    They want to blame US so Biden will send more money to them.

  • PAULETTE says:

    Oh please, you could see this coming a mile away, This was actually prophecied about a little while back before the attack on Israel, God took him out because he had time to repent and wouldnt now God will do his will.

  • Nancy says:

    Blame America?? BS! They could buy as many helicopters as they wanted from China or Russia, so F Off!

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