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Iran News: Regime’s President Ebrahim Raisi Confirmed Dead in Helicopter Crash

Following hours of speculation and delay, the Iranian regime’s state television has officially announced the death of Ebrahim Raisi and those accompanying him on a helicopter flight that crashed in East Azerbaijan Province earlier today.

In his first public appearance following Raisi’s helicopter crash, the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, sought to prevent a morale breakdown among his forces and urged state officials to ensure that no unrest occurs. State media reported Khamenei speaking at a meeting with a handpicked crowd of IRGC family members, saying: “We hope that God Almighty does not deprive the country of the blessing of the President’s and his companions’ service. However, the dear people should be assured that officials are working with redoubled effort, and we have given them the necessary recommendations. The Iranian nation should not worry or be anxious; no disruption will occur in the country’s affairs.”

Raisi’s convoy consisted of three helicopters, with Raisi’s helicopter being the only one that failed to reach its destination safely. Among the passengers were the regime’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Tabriz’s Friday prayer leader Mohammad-Ali Alehashem, East Azerbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati, and several other officials.

For several hours, state-run news agencies reported the helicopter carrying Raisi had crashed, but attempts to contact the passengers were unsuccessful, with all phone lines going unanswered. Rescue teams were dispatched to the crash site, but their efforts were hampered by adverse weather conditions.

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi confirmed the crash, stating, “Rescue teams have not yet reached the accident site. We have no communication or information.” He explained that the helicopter was forced to make a “hard landing” due to adverse weather conditions on the return journey from the inauguration of the Qiz Qalasi Dam with the President of Azerbaijan.

As news of the crash unfolded, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) changed its telegram channel avatar’s color to black, while state officials urged Iranians to pray for Raisi’s survival. However, the regime’s hopes were shattered when state television officially declared Raisi and his companions dead.

Ebrahim Raisi has a chilling record of human rights abuses and crimes against humanity. Skipping education and ambitiously joining the IRGC and later the brutal Judiciary as a prosecutor, he was one of four members of the notorious “Death Commission” that oversaw the extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners, primarily supporters of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK/PMOI), in a mass killing spree that came to be known as the 1988 massacre. Decades later, as Iran’s Chief Justice from 2017 to 2021, Raisi presided over a brutal crackdown on nationwide protests in 2019, granting blanket impunity to security forces responsible for unlawfully killing hundreds of men, women, and children, and subjecting thousands more to mass arrests, enforced disappearances, torture, and other ill-treatment.