President Raisi of Iran and Foreign Minister Die in Helicopter Crash

President Raisi of Iran and Foreign Minister Die in Helicopter Crash

Noriko Watanabe and Kanako Mita

Modern Tokyo Times

President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian both died along with other officials in a tragic helicopter crash. The crash happened in the province of East Azerbaijan in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Voice of America reports, “Search crews found the wreckage Monday, a day after the helicopter crashed in bad weather near Varzaqan in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province. The Iranian officials were returning to Iran after attending a dam project inauguration at the Iran-Azerbaijan border.”

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, said, “…Raisi was a noble person who, both during and before his short presidency, put his non-stop efforts in the service of the people, the country, and Islam. In this tragic incident, the Iranian nation lost a sincere and valuable servant. For him, the welfare and satisfaction of the people was put over everything and the ingratitude of some ill-wishers did not prevent him from working day and night to improve current affairs.”

The nations of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and the Russian Federation offered help to Iran concerning the rescue mission.

The new interim president will be Vice President Mohammad Mokhber.

President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation said Raisi was a “true friend of Russia” – and an “outstanding politician” who served his homeland.

NBC News – similar to many Northern Hemisphere media outlets – focuses on the harsh reality of modern Iran. This agency reports, “His tenure included a crackdown on mass protests after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was killed in 2022, the enforcement of a strict women’s dress code, increased enrichment of uranium after the U.S. withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal and increased military tensions with Israel and the West as the regime supported Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthi rebels in Yemen and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

Lee Jay Walker (Modern Tokyo Times analyst) says, “During 1988, untold numbers of communists, socialists, individuals who fused Marxism and the Shia faith, and others representing different ideologies and ethnicities, were killed by the state apparatus. Raisi was one of several important individuals who mocked any notion of a fair and impartial judiciary. Instead, Raisi – and others who supported the Shia Islamic Revolution – ruled by fear and political oppression.”

Naturally, for supporters of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Raisi served his homeland and was a loyal servant of the theocratic system that holds power concentration via the Supreme Leader.

His death – and others in the tragic helicopter crash – will be mourned inside Iran and among allies throughout the region.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News – Sawako Utsumi and Modern Tokyo Times artist Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News