Iran’s President Raisi reportedly dead after helicopter crash

by ian

The world was shocked over the weekend to hear that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was involved in a helicopter crash. Reports from earlier today seemingly confirmed that the president was killed in that crash along with some other Iranian officials.

Raisi was returning to Iran from the neighboring country of Azerbaijan through dense fog. State media initially had reported that the helicopter experienced a “hard landing,” before later stating that “all passengers of the helicopter carrying the Iranian president and foreign minister were martyred.”

Many neighboring and friendly nations expressed their condolences upon the news – including Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq and Pakistan. Russian President Vladimir Putin referred to Raisi as “a true friend of Russia” and offered to help with the investigation into his death.

Some other nations also expressed condolences, including the European Union and Japan, but reactions have been few and far between for the West.

Raisi was seen as a hardline political figure for Iran – and one who did not get along well with the Western world. Even before his ascension to the presidency, Raisi was an infamous figure. Informally known as “the Butcher of Tehran,” Raisi helped oversee the execution of thousands in the 1980s at the end of the Iran-Iraq war.

But during his tenure as president, which began in 2021, Raisi tightened national morality laws. The heightened morality standards and the connected uptick in brutality from the police of vice and virtue contributed to the death of a young woman and the subsequent anti-government protests that spawned soon afterward.

Protests in Iran under Raisi were often met with a brutal response.

In addition, Raisi has overseen an increasingly encroaching nuclear program that many – including the United States – believe will be used to make and deploy nuclear weapons.

Iran is also a notorious sponsor of the terrorist group Hamas, which launched the attack against Israel on October 7th and spurred the current war in Gaza. Hamas expressed its condolences and some members were quick to blame Israel for the resulting crash.

An unnamed Israeli official commented, “It wasn’t us.” But Israeli politician Avigdor Liberman made a bolder statement on the news of Raisi’s death. According to Ynet news, Liberman said the death “won’t affect Israel’s attitude” concerning Iran. He added, “There was no doubt that the president was a brutal man. We won’t shed a tear.”

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in the nation, said that First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber would take the spot for the time being. He also announced “five days of public mourning” over the president’s death.