Turkish minister: chopper accident killing Iran’s president had no signal

Photo of author

By Creative Media News

  • Turkish investigation suggests helicopter transponder was off or missing
  • Iranian leader Raisi, minister Abdollahian died in helicopter crash
  • Raisi’s death prompts urgent presidential election and leadership vacuum

According to an initial investigation conducted by the Turkish rescue party that discovered the wreckage, the helicopter that crashed, resulting in the deaths of the Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, and the foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, either did not have a transponder installed or had it disabled.

Abdulkadir Uraloğlu, the Turkish transport minister, informed reporters that Turkish authorities had checked for a signal from the helicopter’s transponder, which transmits height and location information, upon receiving news of the collision. “Unfortunately, we believe that the transponder system was either turned off or the helicopter did not have one,” he stated.

A memo also revealed that officials had advised the Iranian government to acquire two Russian helicopters for its leaders because they were concerned about the preservation of its fleet of aging helicopters.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the former foreign affairs minister, attributed the difficulty in obtaining fleet spares to US sanctions. He also stated that the accident would be “recorded in the blocklist of American crimes against the Iranian nation.”

The helicopter involved in the accident was a Bell 212, a two-bladed aircraft that can accommodate 15 passengers.

An investigation team has already arrived at the accident site in the province of East Azerbaijan. It will also be investigating whether weather checks were conducted prior to the decision to fly. The two additional helicopters in the group have completed the journey, and no significant allegations of sabotage have been made thus far.

The president’s funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, during which the entire nation will be closed, and five days of mourning have been declared. An election for his successor is anticipated to take place at the end of June, most likely on June 21.

The helicopter crashed in a remote mountainous region of northern Iran on Sunday morning, resulting in a rescue effort that was unlikely to have saved lives, even if the Red Crescent crews had been able to reach the victims more swiftly. The thick fog hampered the conditions. The charred bodies were only disclosed by a Turkish government surveillance drone after the fog lifted and the sun rose on Monday morning. The aircraft was reported to have “hit the mountain and disintegrated” upon impact, leaving “no signs of life” by state media.

Raisi and his entourage were returning from the province, where they had attended the opening of the Giz Galasi hydroelectric complex, a joint project of Iran and Azerbaijan on the Aras border river. The accident occurred as they were en route.

The helicopter accident resulted in the deaths of all nine occupants, creating a leadership vacuum that hardliners will now attempt to fill in advance of the 50-day presidential election. A provisional timetable has been established, which will culminate in an election in late June.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, extolled Raisi as an “outstanding politician” and declared his passing an “irreplaceable loss.” Shahid kamikaze drones, which are manufactured in Iran, have been instrumental in enabling the Russian military to strike both military and civilian installations in Ukraine.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the paramount leader of Iran, also expressed his admiration for Raisi, stating that the country had lost “a sincere and valuable servant.”

Iranian opponents of the repressive regime were incensed by the humanitarian gesture of expressing condolences for Raisi’s demise, which was echoed by politicians who were opposed to the Iranian government, such as the EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell.

Tom Tugendhat, the security minister of Britain, was an exception. He sent a message on X that stated, “President Raisi’s regime has murdered thousands at home and targeted people here in Britain and across Europe.” No, I will not grieve him.

Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian poet laureate, stated, “The Iranian people had hoped to witness his struggle and plea for his exoneration and to see him brought to justice.” He was not deserving of such a simple demise.

The regime is now faced with the task of hurriedly selecting a candidate to win the presidential elections, which are scheduled to take place within two months, and a more medium-term challenge of determining an alternative to Raisi as a successor to the 85-year-old supreme leader. Raisi was largely regarded as unimpeachably loyal to the supreme leader. Raisi, who is 63 years old, was widely considered a prominent candidate; however, other candidates, such as Khamenei’s son Mojtaba Khamenei, have also been mentioned.

According to Dr. Afshin Shahi, a senior lecturer in Middle East politics at Keele University, the Islamic Republic he encountered its most severe legitimacy crisis in its history during Raisi’s tenure. Raisi was regarded as an irrelevant figure by the majority of individuals, who directed their anti-regime slogans toward the paramount leader and IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] despite the severe crackdowns on the ‘Women, Life, Freedom’ movement. The IRGC was granted an even more prominent role as measures were intensified to securitize society during his tenure.

“Raisi’s tenure has been marked by unprecedented factionalism and animosity among hardliners, as reformists have been virtually excluded from power. The IRGC and the supreme leader will engineer the upcoming presidential election in 50 days. However, the outcome may be influenced by internal conflicts among hardliners, who are overtly fighting for more power and resources.

Vali Nasr, a professor of Middle East studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, stated that Raisi, who was supported by a group that desired to see him become the paramount leader, had evidently desired the position. “They currently lack a candidate, which presents an opportunity for other factions or individuals to emerge as viable contenders,” he stated.

“Unlock your financial potential with free Webull shares in the UK.”

As stipulated in the Iranian constitution, Mohammad Mokhber, Iran’s vice president, has been tasked with overseeing the country until the upcoming presidential elections. Additionally, he has been tasked with coordinating Raisi’s memorial.

Ali Bagheri, a diplomat who was instrumental in the unsuccessful Vienna negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement, was designated acting minister of foreign affairs.

Mohammad Movahedi Azad, the attorney general, urged prosecutors to take “quick, effective, and deterrent action… against the people who, by publishing information about the killing of a president, attempt to disturb the psychological security of the society and disturb the public mind” in response to reports that some anti-regime groups were openly celebrating Raisi’s death.

Read More

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to content