Iran Requested Help from the ‘Great Satan’ in Search for Raïssi’s Helicopter

U.S. officials offer condolences to Iran over the helicopter crash but accuse Raïssi of having blood on his hands

The U.S. State Department announced on Monday that Iran had sought its assistance following the helicopter crash that killed President Ebrahim Raïssi, after Washington offered condolences despite insisting that the late president had “blood-stained hands.” This move is expected to embarrass Iranian authorities who describe Washington as the “Great Satan.”

The U.S. State Department stated that Iran, which has had no diplomatic relations with the United States since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, requested help from Washington after the helicopter carrying Raïssi crashed in a mountainous region in northwestern Iran on Sunday.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters, “I won’t go into details, but the Iranian government asked us for assistance,” adding that the U.S. could not provide it “for logistical reasons.” He noted that Iran’s request for help came shortly after the helicopter went missing and news of its crash, in an effort to locate it.

The United States offered its “condolences” on Monday, ruling out any “wider impact on regional security.”

“The United States expresses its official condolences for the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and other members of their delegation in a helicopter crash in northwestern Iran,” Matthew Miller said in a statement.

“As Iran chooses a new president, we reiterate our support for the Iranian people and their struggle for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” he added.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters, “I do not see a wider impact on regional security” following Raïssi‘s death, adding, “we continue to monitor the situation, but we have no idea about the cause of the crash,” emphasizing that the U.S. had no involvement and that U.S. forces had not changed their posture following the incident.

White House spokesman John Kirby said Monday that Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi, who died in the helicopter crash, “was a man with blood-stained hands.”

Kirby added that Raïssi was responsible for “horrible human rights violations” in Iran, despite Washington offering condolences to the Islamic Republic over his death.

Israel categorically denied being behind the helicopter crash amid ongoing tensions since the outbreak of the war in the Gaza Strip and the reciprocal attacks, while all sources agreed that weather conditions and the aging Iranian helicopter fleet were the cause.

Meanwhile, former Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blamed U.S. sanctions, which hinder the sale of spare parts for helicopters, for the crash of Raïssi‘s helicopter.

When asked about Zarif’s comment, the U.S. State Department spokesman said, “Ultimately, it is the Iranian government that bears responsibility for the decision to allow a 45-year-old helicopter to fly in weather described as poor, not any other party.”

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