Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Killed In Helicopter Crash, Official Says


Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Killed In Helicopter Crash, Official Says | Reuters 

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister were killed in a helicopter crash in mountainous terrain and icy weather, an Iranian official said on Monday, after search teams located the wreckage in East Azerbaijan province. "President Raisi, the foreign minister and all the passengers in the helicopter were killed in the crash," the senior Iranian official told Reuters, asking not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter. Iran's Mehr news agency confirmed the deaths, reporting that "all passengers of the helicopter carrying the Iranian president and foreign minister were martyred". An Iranian official earlier told Reuters the helicopter carrying Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian was completely burned in the crash on Sunday. State TV reported that images from the site showed the aircraft slammed into a mountain peak, although there was no official word on the cause of the crash.  

Iran President Raisi's Critics Celebrate His Death | Newsweek 

Multiple people have taken to social media to celebrate the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. […] But some are rejoicing in the death of a man dubbed the "Butcher of Tehran" after his alleged role as one of the judges who oversaw the execution of thousands of political prisoners in the late 1980s following the Iran-Iraq war. Human Rights Watch previously estimated that between 2,800 and 5,000 prisoners in at least 32 cities were killed. "Evidence links several past and current senior officials to the executions, including President Ebrahim Raeesi," a report said.  

Oil Prices Climb Amid Uncertainty Over Iran President's Fate, Saudi King's Health | Reuters 

Oil prices extended gains on Monday, inching up amid political uncertainty at major producing countries after Iran's president was feared dead in a helicopter crash and the Saudi crown prince cancelled a Japan trip, citing health issues with the king. Brent gained 32 cents, or 0.4%, to $84.30 a barrel by 0240 GMT, its highest since May 10. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) rose 5 cents to $80.11 a barrel, after hitting $80.23 earlier, the highest since May 1. A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi crashed on Sunday, Iranian officials said. Hopes are fading that Raisi and foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian survived the crash in mountainous terrain and icy weather, an Iranian official said on Monday after search teams located the wreckage.  


Raisi’s Death Doesn’t Change Iranian Policy, But Will Spark Fight For Power | The Times Of Israel 

…“The president of the Islamic Republic is an implementer, not a decision-maker,” explained Jason Brodsky, policy director at United Against Nuclear Iran. “So the policies of the Islamic Republic, the fundamentals of those policies, will remain the same.” 

“The Butcher Of Tehran” Is Dead | The Free Press 

…Jason Brodsky, policy director at United Against Nuclear Iran, told The Free Press that the president’s death will create a succession crisis—both to find a new president and because Raisi, 63, was the leading contender to replace 85-year-old supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei. There will now be a scramble to hold an election for a new president among a reluctant population. All this is against the backdrop of a regime that apparently can’t organize a safe flight for two of its most senior members. “They will have to call an election within 50 days,” said Brodsky. “That’s a tall order for the Islamic Republic because the Iranian people don’t want an election; they want an end to the Islamic Republic.”   

'No Sign' Of Life Found At Crash Site Of Iran President Ebrahim Raisi's Helicopter | The National 

…Jason Brodsky, policy director at United Against Nuclear Iran, said such a situation would “not change the fundamentals of Iran's regime policies” but had “the potential to shake Iran's succession system”. “Raisi is also the most qualified person by virtue of bureaucratic experience to succeed Khamenei and has been the closest president ideologically to Khamenei since he took over as supreme leader,” he wrote on X. 

Interview With UANI Policy Director Jason Brodsky | BBC World 

On May 19, 2024, UANI Policy Director appeared on BBC News to discuss reports that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian died in a helicopter crash. 

Iran In Shock As Raisi Killed In Crash | France 24 

Raisi’s support base is reflective of regime’s support base:a v small but radical constituency. The regime will mobilise them to depict a nation in “mourning”. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Ordinary Iranians are celebrating the death of the mass murdering president. Interview with UANI Director of IRGC Research Kasra Aarabi. 

Turkey Sends Rescuers, EU Deploys Satellite Data | BBC News 

The Iranian people will be observing the regime’s handling of the #Raisi crash & how it’s in full panic mode. This will give them further confidence that Khamenei’s death—& the inevitable elite chaos this will cause—will create the best opportunity to bring an end to the regime. Interview with UANI Director of IRGC Research Kasra Aarabi. 

Iran President Missing After Helicopter Crash | BBC News 

Khamenei will view the Raisi crash as a test-run for his own death & succession as it’s highlighted the regime's incompetence & panicky response. This will be v concerning for the 85-year-old supreme leader seeking an orderly succession in the face of mass anti-regime sentiment. Interview with UANI Director of IRGC Research Kasra Aarabi. 

How Are Iranians Reacting To President Ebrahim Raisi's Death? | France 24 

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was declared dead on Monday (May 20) after rescue teams found his crashed helicopter in a fog-shrouded western mountain, near the Azerbaijan border. For more, FRANCE 24's Stuart Norval is joined by Kasra Aarabi, Director of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) research at United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI). 

Interview With UANI Director Of IRGC Research Kasra Aarabi | Times Radio 

“Elections are nothing but a rubber stamp and we have seen unprecedented engineering of elections.” Iran’s 85-year-old supreme leader Ali Khamenei will be focused on who will succeed him after seeing the response to the president’s death, says @KasraAarabi Director of IRGC Research at United Against Nuclear Iran. 

What Is The Constitutional Procedure In Case An Iranian President Dies In Office? | World Is One News 

Iranian rescuers are trying to locate the crashed plane carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. The fate of those on board the plan continues to remain uncertain at this hour. How does the Iranian constitution seek to continue the leadership in case an Iranian President dies while in office and who comes next in the transition? […] Jason Brodsky, policy director at United Against Nuclear Iran, told a media outlet that the president of Iran is more of an "implementer" of policies rather than a "decision-maker". He noted that the core policies of the Islamic Republic would remain unchanged regardless of who is president. 

Hashemite King Calls On Arab Leaders To Unite Against A Common Enemy — But Shies Away From Naming The Foe | The New York Sun 

King Abdullah II of Jordan is calling on Arab leaders to unite against a common enemy — and though he will not say so publicly, that foe is the Islamic Republic of Iran and its ideological partners. […] Jordan has been countering such smuggling for years, Abdullah said, “to protect our youth from this external danger.” In reality, Amman security arrested in March several Palestinian-Jordanians who were members of the Muslim Brotherhood with ties to Hamas. Iran, through an allied Syria-based militia, attempted to supply the cell with arms. Such weapons included Claymore mines, C4 and Semtex explosives, Kalashnikov rifles, and 107mm Katyusha rockets, Reuters reported. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has long eyed Jordan as a target, United Against Nuclear Iran’s policy director, Jason Brodsky, tells the Sun.  

Who Is Iran’s First Vice President, Mohammad Mokhber, Appointed Acting President After Crash? | Associated Press 

…Mokhber was born Sept. 1, 1955, in Dezful in Iran’s southwestern Khuzestan province to a clerical family. He served as an officer in the Revolutionary Guard’s medical corps during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, according to the pressure group United Against Nuclear Iran. “Mokhber used the vast wealth accumulated by EIKO — at the expense of the Iranian people—to reward regime insiders like himself,” UANI said. “Managing the patronage network endeared him to the supreme leader, but at a cost.”  


US Codifies Sanctions Exemption To Help Iranians Access Internet | Iran International 

The Biden administration has amended federal regulations to exempt internet communications services from Iran sanctions, allowing Iranians to access certain American software, hardware and services. The existing ‘sanctions waiver’ was granted by the US Treasury in September 2022, as thousands across Iran took to the streets following the death in custody of the 22-year old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained for improper hijab. On Friday, that waiver was codified and entered federal regulations, according to a notice published on the Federal Register. The new rule incorporates “a general license relating to the export, reexport, and provision of certain services, software, and hardware incident to communications over the internet,” the official summary of the document reads.  


Iran Arrests Hundreds, Including Three Europeans, At 'Satanist' Meeting | The National 

Iranian security forces have arrested more than 260 people, including three Europeans, at what the semi-official news agency Tasnim described as a “Satanist" gathering near Tehran. “Members of the satanist network were identified and arrested by the police in a specialised operation,” the Iranian news outlet said on Friday. The 146 men and 115 women “were present in the venue of the Satanism meeting”, surrounded by “logos, signs, and symbols of Satanism on their clothes, head, face, and hair”, it added. Some were “naked”, according to the outlet. Iran witnessed nationwide protests in 2022 and 2023 over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country’s morality police. More than 500 people were killed and 18,000 imprisoned in a subsequent clampdown on demonstrators, according to rights groups, with Tehran going on to execute several protesters accused of killing security officers.  

Iran Hangs Two Women As Surge In Executions Intensifies: NGO | AFP News 

Parvin Mousavi, 53, a mother of two grown-up children, was hanged in Urmia prison in northwestern Iran along with five men convicted in various drug-related cases, the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) said in a statement. In Nishapur in eastern Iran, a 27-year-old woman named Fatemeh Abdullahi was hanged on charges of murdering her husband, who was also her cousin, it said. IHR says it has tallied at least 223 executions this year, with at least 50 so far in May alone. A new surge began following the end of Persian New Year and Ramadan holidays in April, with 115 people including six women hanged since then, it said.  

Iran Deploys Drones To Help Enforce Women’s Hijab | Iran International 

Iranian authorities have implemented drone surveillance on Kish Island in the south to enforce the country’s mandatory hijab laws, as shown in a video released by Iranian media. The footage shows law enforcement agents confront and stop women in public areas, escalating the enforcement of compulsory hijab. The news of the surveillance has sparked significant backlash on social media, with many users condemning the government's tactics. Critics have drawn parallels between the use of Iranian drones for military purposes in Ukraine and against Israel – and, their current domestic use against women now for the enforcement of dress codes. 


U.S. And Iranian Officials Held Indirect Talks In Oman On Risks Of A Wider War | The New York Times 

Senior American and Iranian officials held talks through intermediaries in Oman this past week, the first such conversations since Iran launched a retaliatory attack on Israel with hundreds of missiles and drones last month, according to a person familiar with the recent meetings. Brett McGurk, the top White House official on Middle East policy, and Abram Paley, the deputy special envoy for Iran, attended the talks in Oman. The goal was to try to get Iran, which supplies weapons and training to militias across the Middle East, to move to rein in its partners. Since the Israel-Hamas war broke out, several Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria have stepped up attacks on American troops, raising fears of a wider war. The most powerful of the regional militias, Lebanon-based Hezbollah, has been exchanging fire with the Israeli military in northern Israel and southern Lebanon. However, U.S. intelligence officials assess that neither Hezbollah nor Iran wants to engage in a wider war.  


Frustration With Netanyahu Boils Over On Plans For Gaza After Hamas | The Hill 

Frustration is growing in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the war against Hamas and his growing split with President Biden, raising fears that the public tensions could invite increased attacks from Iran and its proxies across the region. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is the most senior official to call out his premier, demanding that Netanyahu decide on a day-after plan for the Gaza Strip after defeating Hamas. “I call on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to make a decision and declare that Israel will not establish civilian control over the Gaza Strip, that Israel will not establish military governance in the Gaza strip, and that a governing alternative to Hamas in the Gaza Strip will be raised immediately,” Gallant said in rare, blunt remarks while commemorating Israel’s Memorial Day on Wednesday.  


Helicopter Crash That Killed Iran’s President And Others Could Reverberate Across The Middle East | Associated Press 

The helicopter crash in which Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and other officials were killed is likely to reverberate across the Middle East, where Iran’s influence runs wide and deep. That’s because Iran has spent decades supporting armed groups and militants in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Palestinian territories, allowing it to project power and potentially deter attacks from the United States or Israel, the sworn enemies of its 1979 Islamic Revolution. Tensions have never been higher than they were last month, when Iran under Raisi and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei launched hundreds of drones and ballistic missiles at Israel in response to an airstrike on an Iranian Consulate in Syria that killed two Iranian generals and five officers. Israel, with the help of the United States, Britain, Jordan and others, intercepted nearly all the projectiles. In response, Israel apparently launched its own strike against an air defense radar system in the Iranian city of Isfahan, causing no casualties but sending an unmistakable message.  

Who Were The Officials Who Died With Iran's President Raisi In The Helicopter Crash? | The National 

Three Iranian officials, including the country's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, were on board a helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi that crashed in heavy fog on Sunday afternoon, killing all four. Several bodyguards and flight crew members were also killed in the accident. Here is what you need to know about the three officials: Hossein Amirabdollahian, 60, was Iran’s Foreign Minister since 2021. He earlier served as deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, and the ambassador to Bahrain, among other roles in a long career in diplomacy. Described as an “anti-western conservative”, Mr Amirabdollahian, from the central city of Damghan, was known for close ties with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and a staunch backer of Iranian proxy groups across the region. He was particularly close to the IRGC's Quds Force commander, Gen Qassem Suleimani, who was killed in a US air strike at Baghdad airport in January 2020.  

The List Of Potential Suspects In The Mysterious Death Of Iran’s President Raisi | Time  

Ebrahim Raisi, whose helicopter crashed in the northwest of Iran on Sunday, was both the President of Iran and a candidate jockeying to succeed the elderly actual ruler of the country, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Both political positions carried an elevated risk level roughly comparable with that of traveling by air inside Iran—where aviation safety, compromised by decades of sanctions and uneven maintenance, has claimed the lives of almost as many senior Iranian officials as its shadow war with Israel, which also loomed over Raisi’s reported demise. The cause of the crash—which also killed Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, and others—is pending investigation. But any official finding will be open to interpretation—like the fireworks that erupted in the streets over Tehran on Sunday night: were they celebrating the eve of the holiday marking the birth of Reza, known as the 8th Imam? Or the death of Raisi, the notoriously hardline President?