Fatal Helicopter Crash Claims Tehran’s ‘Butcher’

(HorizonPost.com) – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was among those killed on Sunday after the helicopter he was traveling in crashed in heavy fog in the mountains of northwestern Iran.

The 63-year-old Raisi, who was known by the nickname the “Butcher of Tehran,” along with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, were traveling with the governor of East Azerbaijan and other officials and bodyguards when the helicopter went down. All eight passengers aboard were killed.

Officials from Turkey released drone video footage early Monday morning that showed a heat signature at the site that rescue workers believed was the location of the wreckage. According to coordinates from the footage, the crash site was roughly 12 miles south of the border between Iran and Azerbaijan along a steep mountainside.

Later Monday morning, Iran’s state-run news agency IRNA released a video purportedly showing the crash site which was found by soldiers speaking the local language of Azeri.

Iranian state TV did not say what caused the crash.

Iran has used the same Bell helicopters since before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. With Western sanctions, Iran is unable to purchase newer crafts, and parts to maintain the current fleet are in short supply.

Former Foreign Minister Javad Zarif blamed the crash on US sanctions that have prevented Iran from purchasing a new fleet of aircraft. Zarif said in an interview on Monday that the crash would be added to the list of America’s “crimes against the Iranian people.”

Just hours after Raisi’s death, Iran’s first Vice President Mohammad Mokhber was named acting president. Under the country’s constitution implemented following the Islamic Revolution, Mokhber will remain in office for roughly 50 days before Iran holds mandatory elections to replace Raisi.

Condolences for the Butcher of Tehran poured in from Hezbollah, Azerbaijan, Russia, China, Afghanistan, Turkey, and India. The US State Department also offered its condolences on the Butcher’s passing.

Raisi was sanctioned by the United States for his role in the 1988 mass execution of thousands of prisoners following the Iran-Iraq war.

Copyright 2024, HorizonPost.com