Sunday, June 23, 2024

‘Martyred’: Iranian Media Declare Raisi Dead; ‘No Sign’ of Life at Helicopter Crash Site

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IRAN - MAY 20: A screen grab captured from a video shows from Akinci Unmanned Aerial Vehic
Anadolu/Anadolu via Getty

Search teams have reportedly located the site where a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, crashed on Sunday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the state’s news agency.

There was “no sign’ of life, according to Iranian state television (via the Times of Israel).

IRAN – MAY 20: A screen grab captured from a video shows from Akinci Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, which participated in search and rescue operations for the helicopter carrying the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his delegation in Iran on May 20, 2024. A Turkish Akinci unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) identified a source of heat early Monday suspected to be the wreckage of a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and shared its coordinates with Iranian authorities. (Photo by Anadolu/Anadolu via Getty Images)

State-run media also declared that Raisi had died — or, rather, that he had been “martyred.”

The Times of Israel quoted Iran’s Mehr news agency:

“The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi, had an accident while serving and performing his duty for the people of Iran and was martyred,” Iran’s Mehr agency says as other media outlets also reported the news.

Iranian Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian and other officials were also reported to have been on board when the helicopter went missing in a mountainous area of the country.

UN General Assembly Iran

President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023 in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

ranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is seen before a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at Kishida's office in Tokyo Monday, Aug. 7, 2023. (Issei Kato/Pool Photo via AP)

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is seen before a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at Kishida’s office in Tokyo Monday, Aug. 7, 2023. (Issei Kato/Pool Photo via AP)

The weather conditions were reported to have consisted of fog, rain, and cold weather.

Location of crash site of Pres. Raisi’s chopper determined: Sourcehttps://t.co/6mWrIRVVJj pic.twitter.com/sAkjeXgTeH

— IRNA News Agency (@IrnaEnglish) May 20, 2024

The Times of Israel reported that the Iranian Fars news agency had revealed that while the helicopter carrying the Iranian president had crashed, two other helicopters in the convoy, carrying other officials had arrived safely at their destination.

Pir-Hossein Kolivand, head of Iran’s Red Crescent Society, announced that teams had arrived at the location of the helicopter crash, adding that “the condition is not good,” according to the IRNA’s statement.

Kolivand added that “73 rescue teams are present in the search area of the helicopter in the Tawal village with advanced and specialized equipment.”

People in Iran were asked to pray for president Raisi after the news of the helicopter crash.

Opposition groups were said to be celebrating, setting off fireworks and posting jokes on social media.

Ding dong the wicked witch is dead. https://t.co/0oMlYPFWgd

— Caroline Glick (@CarolineGlick) May 19, 2024

Two Iranian women who have faced the brutality of the Islamic regime celebrate the news that President Raisi’s helicopter crashed.

Mersedeh Shahinkar was blinded in one eye while protesting against the Islamic Republic in the aftermath of the 2022 murder of Jina Mahsa Amini.… pic.twitter.com/9dWqbhvsaO

— Yashar Ali (@yashar) May 20, 2024

The main Hamas Telegram group is now broadcasting as FACT the joke that Raisi’s pilot was a Mosssd agent called Eli Copter.

It’s very funny, but recall, these are the “journalistic sources” that the Wesrern press have used uncritically for 7 months to malign Israel. pic.twitter.com/RCYvAv7e83

— Saul Sadka (@Saul_Sadka) May 19, 2024

If Raisi is confirmed dead, it could set off a succession battle in Iran that has the potential to destabilize the regime.

Update: The Iranian government reportedly confirmed the death of Raisi saying all nine crew and passengers aboard the helicopter had been killed.

This is a developing story.

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