UANI Statement on Helicopter Crash Involving Iran’s President

(New York, NY) – United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace issued the following statement after the helicopter crash involving Iran’s regime’s President Ebrahim RaisiForeign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and other officials.

“The crash and unexpected loss of Raisi and others foreshadows the fragility of the Iranian regime as the supreme leader lacks a viable successor. This incident is a dry run for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s own succession. The panic, paranoia, isolation, corruption, and incompetence of the 85-year-old Ayatollah and his cronies at this time suggests the long overdue demise of the regime is near. 

“As part of his ‘second phase of the Islamic Revolution’ manifesto, Khamenei has spent the past five years ‘purifying’ the regime, empowering a new generation of ideological absolutists, to ensure a smooth and orderly succession when he dies. The supreme leader aims to control his elites, aware that divisions might arise after his death and fearing that the Iranian population, which overwhelmingly seeks regime change, might exploit his death to topple the Islamic Republic. 

“Khamenei has installed loyalists in key positions, prioritizing ideological commitment over experience or technical expertise to achieve this. However, the regime’s handling of the Raisi helicopter crash has exposed the deep vulnerabilities of this strategy. The new zealots at the helm have demonstrated marked incompetence, failing to manage communications and ultimately descending into panic, revealing the regime’s fragility, especially regarding succession. 

“The Iranian people will be keenly aware of the panic this incident has generated and may look to further weaken the regime. They are already celebrating with fireworks, illustrating the unbridgeable chasm between state and society.

“The Biden administration should focus on the Iranian people’s aspirations in its public diplomacy, highlighting the regime being irredeemable. Additionally, the U.S. and its allies should consider covert operations—both cyber and kinetic—to deepen the divisions within the regime’s elite and expose their failings to the Iranian people.”

About Ebrahim Raisi and Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

Ebrahim Raisi, known as the ‘Butcher of Tehran,’ rose through the ranks of the Islamic Republic’s repressive judiciary—as a prosecutor-general, first deputy chief justice, and ultimately as head of the judiciary. He also led Astan Quds Razavi, a massive economic conglomerate. In 2021, he became president after a regime-engineered contest. Raisi served on a ‘Death Commission’ in 1988, which greenlighted the executions of thousands of political prisoners. He was also involved as first deputy chief justice in the regime’s suppression of Iran’s Green Movement protests in 2009.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a card-carrying member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, rose through the ranks of the Islamic Republic’s Foreign Ministry. He previously served as ambassador to Bahrain, deputy foreign minister for Arab and African Affairs, an advisor to the speaker of parliament, and became foreign minister in 2021. Amir-Abdollahian reportedly participated in planning meetings leading up to the October 7 massacre in Israel by Hamas.

To read more about Ebrahim Raisi’s career, please click here to view UANI’s profile of Raisi.

To read more about Hossein Amir-Abdollahian’s career, please click here to view UANI’s profile of Amir-Abdollahian.

To read more about succession in the Islamic Republic, please click here.