ANI Photo | US cites ‘logistical reasons’ for inability to assist Iran after President Raisi’s helicopter crash

United States said on Monday that they were ‘unable’ to provide assistance to the Iran government due to logistical reasons after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s helicopter crashed on Sunday afternoon.
“We were asked for assistance by the Iranian government. We did make it clear to them that we would offer assistance, as we would do in response to any request by a foreign government in this sort of situation,” US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a daily briefing.
“I’m not going to get into the details, but we were asked by the Iranian Government for assistance. We said that we would be willing to assist. It’s something that we would do with respect to any government in this situation. Ultimately, largely for logistical reasons, we weren’t able to provide that assistance,” Miller added.
Saying that Iranian President had ‘blood in his hands,’ Spokesperson Miller condoled the death of President Ebrahim Raisi and said that “We don’t want to see anyone die in a helicopter crash.”
“Let me say a few things. One, we have been quite clear that Ebrahim Raisi was a brutal participant in the repression of the Iranian people for nearly four decades. He was involved in numerous horrific human rights abuses, including playing a key role in the extrajudicial killing of thousands of political prisoners in 1988. Some of the worst human rights abuses occurred during his tenure as president, especially the human rights abuses against the women and girls of Iran,” he said.
“We regret any loss of life. We don’t want to see anyone die in a helicopter crash. But that doesn’t change the reality of his record both as a judge and as the president of Iran and the fact that he has blood on his hands. So, I think, most importantly, our fundamental approach to Iran has not changed and will not change. We will continue to support the people of Iran, to defend their human rights, their aspirations to an open, free society and democratic participation,” he added.
The chopper, which also carried other officials, had disappeared in the mountains of northwestern Iran after making a ‘hard landing’ on Sunday. They were confirmed killed on Monday morning around 16 hours after the helicopter they were travelling in crashed in poor weather.
Raisi, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, and seven other people who were onboard the helicopter that crashed on Sunday have died, state media Press TV reported on Monday.
Raisi was returning to Iran following a visit to Azerbaijan when his helicopter came down in bad weather conditions on Sunday afternoon.
Nine people were on the helicopter that crashed in northwest Iran on Sunday, as reported by Tasnim News.
Raisi and his accompanying delegation were returning from a ceremony to inaugurate a dam on the Aras River with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. Following the announcement of the deaths of Raisi and his team, the Iranian cabinet held an emergency session headed by Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, Press TV reported.
Raisi was heading to the city of Tabriz on Sunday afternoon when the incident took place.
An Al Jazeera reporter said that “looking at the wreckage of the helicopter, the chances of anyone surviving in such an accident are quite slim. We see that the whole cabin of the helicopter is completely burned.”
The publication said that Iranian authorities “are saying that some of the bodies were burned beyond recognition and that they have not been able to identify who is who at the site.”
Drone footage of the wreckage taken by the Red Crescent was carried on state media. It showed the crash site on a steep, wooded hillside, with little remaining of the helicopter beyond a blue and white tail, CNN reported.
For the first time, Iran is going through such a situation. The country has never seen something similar with the president and the foreign minister disappearing in a helicopter crash, reported Al Jazeera.
Following the report of the Iranian President’s death and that of the foreign affairs minister, the government cabinet convened an urgent meeting, IRNA reported.

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