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‘We have nothing to do with it’: Israel on Iran President Raisi’s chopper crash

'We have nothing to do with it': Israel on Iran President Raisi's chopper crash %Post Title







Israel on Monday denied involvement in the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash that also killed several official of his entourage.
“It wasn’t us,” news agency Reuters quoted an official, who requested anonymity.

Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian President known for his hard-line stance and close ties to the country’s supreme leader, passed away at the age of 63.

Raisi played a significant role in the mass executions of thousands in 1988 and later presided over Iran as it pursued uranium enrichment to near weapons-grade levels and carried out a substantial drone-and-missile attack on Israel.

The unexpected demise of Raisi, along with Iran’s foreign minister and other officials, occurred in a helicopter crash on Sunday in the northwestern region of Iran.

The crash of Raisi’s helicopter has sparked speculation and raised questions about the circumstances surrounding the incident. As Iran grapples with the loss of its president, a cloud of uncertainty looms over the nation, with implications that could reverberate across the Middle East.

The death of President Raisi is likely to not only trigger a high-stakes power struggle within Iran but also have significant implications for the region.

Amid a backdrop of escalating tensions and conflicts, the sudden absence of a key political figure like Raisi could disrupt the delicate balance of power within Iran and beyond.

While the official explanation for the crash points to bad weather conditions, including rain and fog that hampered visibility during the flight, speculation has emerged regarding the possibility of foul play. Given Raisi’s controversial tenure and the internal and external challenges facing Iran, questions have been raised about the potential involvement of domestic foes or even external actors like Israel.

Israel’s possible involvement?

Given the historical animosity between Iran and Israel, some Iranians have speculated that Israel could be behind the crash, a report in the Economist said. This theory gains traction considering recent escalations, including Israel’s assassination of an Iranian general in Damascus and Iran’s subsequent missile barrage.
The Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, is known for its operations against Iranian interests, though it has never targeted a head of state.

Experts, however, find the theory of Israeli involvement unlikely. Assassinating a sitting president would be a direct act of war, likely provoking a severe response from Iran. Israel’s strategic focus has traditionally been on military and nuclear targets rather than high-profile political assassinations.
 “There are strong reasons to doubt Israel’s involvement. It has never gone so far as to assassinate a head of state, an unequivocal act of war that would invite a fierce Iranian response,” the Economist report said.

However, the helicopter crash’s timing exacerbates regional tensions. Iran’s network of proxies across Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen complicates the geopolitical landscape, particularly with the ongoing conflict involving Israel and Hamas. Any instability within Iran’s leadership could embolden these groups, potentially leading to broader conflict.
(With inputs from agencies)


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