June 18, 2024

Iran Former Prime Minister blames US for President Raisi chopper crash

2 min read
Iran Former Prime Minister blames US for President Raisi chopper crash

Mohammad Javad Zarif, former Foreign Minister of Iran, blamed US sanctions on aviation parts for the crash of a chopper carrying President Ebrahim Raisi

Mohammad Javad Zarif, former Foreign Minister of Iran, blamed US sanctions on aviation parts for the crash of a chopper carrying President Ebrahim Raisi.

In an interview with state TV, he said the sanctions compromise Iran’s access to modern aviation facilities, thus implicating the US in the Sunday chopper crash in northwestern Iran killing Ebrahim Raisi and his entourage including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

“One of the culprits behind yesterday’s tragedy is the United States (US), because of its sanctions that bar Iran from procuring essential aviation parts,” Zarif asserted during the interview.

His statement comes amid the ongoing geopolitical tension where Iran has increasingly aligned itself with Russia and China, raising questions about its continued reliance on outdated American helicopters like the Bell 212.

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Helicopter carrying Iran president Raisi and top diplomat involved in a crash; State TV

The Bell 212, a civilian adaptation of the Vietnam War-era UH-1N “Twin Huey,” crashed in heavy fog while traversing mountainous terrain. 

Developed in the late 1960s for the Canadian military and introduced in 1971, this model was designed to offer enhanced carrying capacity with its dual turboshaft engines.

However, in spite of sanctions, Iran continues to manufacture and supply its own armed forces and proxies around the region, in addition to Russia, with state-of-the-art missiles and drones. 

Armed groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, and Iran’s own Quds Forces boast long-range high-tech weaponry.

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