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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 14 June 2024 9.43 AM IST

'Bell 212 helicopter, Israel's suspicious role'; confounding mystery of Ebrahim Raisi's death

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TEHRAN: Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi's sudden disappearance and the death news leave behind many mysteries for sleuths to untangle in the coming days. Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a provincial governor, four officials and two pilots complete the total of nine people who died in the crash.

After the shocking news, Mohammad Mokhber took reign as the interim president of Iran. Mokhber was the close confidante of Raisi and served as the deputy president in Raisi’s reign. A new president must be elected within 50 days. Meanwhile, Ali Bagheri, Iran's representative in the nuclear talks, was appointed as the interim foreign minister.

Raisi's funeral will be held on Tuesday in Tabriz city. Five days of mourning have been announced in the country. Raisi, who was groomed by Khamenei, was likely to have succeeded the supreme leader. Three days of mourning were declared in Syria and Lebanon. Countries including India have expressed condolence.

Raisi's copter crashed in a mountainous region of eastern Azerbaijan on Sunday in heavy fog. The other two copters tackled the climate and landed safely while it was Raisi’s copter alone that made the horrible landing, charring all to death. Rain and fog hampered rescue operations. Turkish drones and helicopters picked up thermal signals that helped rescue teams reach the crash site.

Raisi used a Bell 212 copter for his final journey. It was made during the 1960s by the Canadian military and was manufactured by Bell Helicopter, a US company. The helicopter is never a first-choice option during harsh weather and can only be used during Level 1 weather with light rain. On Sunday, the copter carrying Iran's President had to endure level 5 weather and eventually, failed. Bell 212 copters had previously crashed in Iran in 2018 and UAE in 2023.

In the wake of the Gaza war, many even raised doubts about the involvement of arch-enemy Israel in the incident. Raisi through his career as a staunch extremist has given rise to many a nemesis within the country. He was among the four-judge panel that sentenced more than five thousand political prisoners to death in 1988.

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TAGS: EBRAHIM RAISI, IRAN, HELICOPTER, ROLE, MOKHBER, FOREIGN, TEHRAN, NUCLEAR
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