Israeli Officials Suspect Raisi’s Death in Helicopter Crash, Deny Involvement
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By The Smartencyclopedia Staff & Agencies

Jerusalem, May 20, 2024 — Israel is closely monitoring reports from Iran regarding a helicopter crash that reportedly involved President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. Speculation is rife in both Israel and the West that Raisi, infamously known as the “Butcher of Tehran,” did not survive the incident.

Israeli officials have refrained from making any official comments on the helicopter crash. However, unofficial sources have clarified that Israel had no connection or involvement in the crash, which is said to have occurred due to severe weather conditions near Jolfa, a city close to the Azerbaijani border, approximately 600 kilometers (375 miles) northwest of Tehran.

Senior Israeli officials indicated that the apparent deaths of Raisi and Amir-Abdollahian are not expected to significantly impact Israel or its policy toward Iran. The only potential consequence might depend on Raisi’s successor, with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—who served as Iran’s president from 2005 to 2013 and is considered a staunch adversary of Israel—being a possible candidate.

“Decisions regarding Israel are ultimately made by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,” said a senior Israeli official. “He is the one who dictates the key decisions about Iran’s nuclear program and its campaign of terror against Israel. In this regard, Raisi’s death will not change anything for better or worse.”

Despite these assertions, officials acknowledge that the deaths of Raisi and Amir-Abdollahian could embolden the opposition within Iran, potentially exploiting the leadership transition to increase instability in the country.

News of the helicopter crash reached U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan during a series of meetings in Israel. President Joe Biden reportedly cut his vacation short to address the emerging situation.

Israeli officials anticipate that some factions within Iran may attempt to spread conspiracy theories about Israel’s purported involvement in the crash. A website affiliated with the Cyber Army of the Revolutionary Guards, an ideologically driven branch of the Iranian armed forces, suggested the possibility of assassination and sabotage. The site noted, “The crash of the helicopter carrying government officials makes the possibility of assassination and sabotage strong, and the crash of the president’s helicopter among the three helicopters makes this possibility almost certain. There was a meeting with the Zionist regime of Azerbaijan before the incident. Imam Reza, you are our hope.”

As the situation develops, Israeli officials continue to monitor the fallout from the crash, maintaining their stance that any significant policy changes toward Iran are unlikely in the immediate aftermath of Raisi’s reported death.

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