Israel Denies Involvement in Helicopter Crash Killing Iran's Raisi

Israel rarely officially comments on its activities outside its border, but this time they distanced themselves from the downing of the Iranian president's helicopter. Iran receives condolences from all over the world

by Sededin Dedovic
Israel Denies Involvement in Helicopter Crash Killing Iran's Raisi
© MSNBC / Youtube channel

An unnamed Israeli official told a Israel’s Channel 13 that his country was not involved in the helicopter crash that killed Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, reported MiddleEastMonitor. Israel rarely officially comments on its activities outside its borders, which in recent months have included attacks within Lebanon, Syria, and Iran.

In April, Iran launched an unprecedented direct attack on Israel, authorized by Raisi as retaliation for an attack on the Iranian diplomatic building in Syria's capital, Damascus, which is believed to have been carried out by Israel.

Meanwhile, Hamas issued a statement thanking Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian for their support in the war against Israel. “These leaders supported the legitimate struggle of our people against the Zionist entity, provided valuable support to the Palestinian resistance, and made tireless efforts in solidarity and support on all forums and fields for our people,” said the Palestinian group.

Rescue services this morning recovered the remains of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and eight others who were traveling in the helicopter that crashed in the northwest of the country, the Red Crescent announced. The transfer of the martyrs' bodies to Tabriz, a major city in northwest Iran, is underway, said the head of the Red Crescent, Pirhossein Koulivand, to state television, announcing the end of search operations.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and other officials died in the helicopter crash that disappeared yesterday afternoon while flying over a mountainous and wooded area in the northwest of the country in severe weather conditions with rain and dense fog.

The search for the crashed helicopter lasted all night The wreckage was found at dawn, and rescuers soon reported no signs of life in the downed aircraft, state television reported. Among the dead were the governor of East Azerbaijan province, the area's chief imam, the head of the Iranian president's security, and three crew members.

President Raisi was returning yesterday with a delegation after the inauguration ceremony of a dam on the Iran-Azerbaijan border, which he attended with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Meets with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev as they inaugurate the Qiz Qalasi Dam, constructed© Handout / Getty Images

The Iranian government held an emergency meeting after state media announced the death of President Ebrahim Raisi, according to the Associated Press.

The cabinet expressed condolences, stating that Raisi made the ultimate sacrifice in serving his country, according to a report by the state news agency IRNA. The report was accompanied by a photo of Raisi’s black chair and his picture on the desk.

“We assure our loyal, grateful, and beloved nation that the path of service will continue with the tireless spirit of Ayatollah Raisi, a hero and servant of the nation and a faithful friend of the leadership,” said the cabinet statement, as reported by IRNA.

Vice President Mohammad Mokhber led the emergency cabinet meeting, state media reported. The Iranian news agency Tasnim reported that there were nine people on the helicopter, and all perished. Among them were Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azerbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati, and Major General Seyed Mehdi Mousavi, head of the presidential security team.

The pilot, co-pilot, and technician were also on board.

Support for Iran from all over the world

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced a day of mourning due to the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in the helicopter crash.

Sharif recently hosted Raisi and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian when they visited Pakistan, stating, “They were good friends of Pakistan”. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari also expressed shock and sadness over Raisi’s death.

He conveyed condolences to the bereaved families of the Iranian president, the foreign minister, and others who died in the accident. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was deeply saddened and shocked by the news of the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and offered condolences to Raisi's family and the people of Iran.

“India stands with Iran in this time of sorrow,” Modi wrote in a post on the social platform X on Monday. A Houthi leader in Yemen this morning expressed deep sorrow over the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other high officials who died in the helicopter crash.

“Our deepest condolences to the Iranian people and Iranian leadership and the families of the president and accompanying delegation,” said Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, head of the Houthi Supreme Revolutionary Committee.

European Council President Charles Michel wrote this morning that “the EU expresses sincere condolences over the death of President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, as well as other members of their delegation and crew in the helicopter crash,” reports The Guardian.

“Our thoughts are with the families,” he added. Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, said his country stands in solidarity with Iran in, as he said, “this difficult time,” and expressed condolences to the Iranian government and the people of Iran, reports Reuters.