Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 20, 2024

President And FM Of Iran Killed in Apparent Helicopter Accident

You all will have heard by now that the President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi as well as its Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian have died in what looks like a helicopter accident:

Raisi was traveling in a US-made Bell 212. Low visibility and the impassibility of the area made search operations difficult, IRNA wrote.

Rescue teams finally managed to locate the crash site on Monday morning with the help of Turkish surveillance drones.

The wreckage was discovered in a wooded area on a mountain slope. The aircraft was severely damaged and charred, and there were no signs of survivors, the Iranian Red Crescent Society said.

Iran will have acquired the Bell 212 before the 1978-79 revolution. While at least 45 years old it had never had access to manufacturer level maintenance or regular replacement parts. It is likely that the helicopter was not equipped for pure instrument flights but required visibility to navigate.

The weather over the mountain range the helicopter was crossing was bad with video from the scene showing heavy fog.

Under such circumstances the flight should not have taken place. But with very important guests on board, who run on a tight schedule, the pilots may have felt a need to fly despite unfavorable weather condition.

I therefore see nothing that would suggest a conspiracy or foreign influence in the incident.

Raisi was on the conservative, and thereby more social, side of Iranian politics. Within the current framework in Iran his successor will likely by from the same political direction.

Iran's Supreme Leader has already announced new elections: @khamenei_ir - 10:05 UTC · May 20, 2024

In accordance with Article 131 of the Constitution, Vice-President Mr. Mokhber will be the head of the Executive Branch & is obliged to cooperate with the heads of the Legislative & Judiciary Branches in facilitating the election of a new president within a maximum of 50 days.

There will be a bit of a rush to decide which personalities will be allowed as candidates for the next presidency.

Election campaigns in Iran are restricted to short periods. Voter turnout is usually low. While there might be surprises when a winner comes up the political system in Iran, established after the revolution, is quite stable and is likely to prevail.

Posted by b on May 20, 2024 at 11:05 UTC | Permalink

next page »

I therefore see nothing that would suggest a conspiracy or foreign influence in the incident.

Posted by b on May 20, 2024 at 11:05 UTC | Permalink

Agreed. Ages ago I came across an aeronautical engineers definition of a helicopter: “Thousands of moving parts, all trying to kill you.”.

Posted by: Jeremy Rhymings-Lang | May 20 2024 11:19 utc | 1

Helicopters, mountains & fog don’t mix. And even supposedly security-conscious people make foolish errors. Equally, historical & political context always leads to suspicions…

Posted by: Pete | May 20 2024 11:20 utc | 2

Maybe the new president will get a new Russian helicopter.

Posted by: Chaka Khagan | May 20 2024 11:28 utc | 3

3 helicopters flying together only the one with the Iran president in crashes.
Move along nothing to see here folks.

Thats not a coinsidence thats a chance in a billion.

Posted by: Mark2 | May 20 2024 11:31 utc | 4

The body of the pilot, David "Dadi" Barnea Jr., has yet to be found. Dadi had replaced the regular pilot at the last minute before the flight left Azerbaijan.


Posted by: Perimetr | May 20 2024 11:33 utc | 5

On the earlier thread, a article was posted that described the erstwhile Bell factory in Iran as building helicopters today

Posted by: Exile | May 20 2024 11:34 utc | 6

Condolences to the families of all nine who perished in this crash.

Props to b for a typically excellent, prompt précis.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 20 2024 11:34 utc | 7

"3 helicopters flying together only the one with the Iran president in crashes.
Move along nothing to see here folks.

Thats not a coinsidence thats a chance in a billion."

Posted by: Mark2 | May 20 2024 11:31 utc | 4

"One chance in a billion"-what an amateur exaggeration:

It was an accident, it happens all the time with helicopters especially in bad weather and when it is mountainous-you are doing a poor job of speculating.

Posted by: canuck | May 20 2024 11:35 utc | 8

According to Reuters, an Israel representative said Israel had nothing to do with the helicopter failure.
This kind of denial may be interpreted otherwise !

Posted by: Dany | May 20 2024 11:38 utc | 9

"I therefore see nothing that would suggest a conspiracy or foreign influence in the incident."

Sure and a prudent approach is everyone's best interests.

However, you also said the same thing about the origins about Covid a couple of years ago despite evidence being shown to you that something nefarious was going on.

Nothing happens in isolation and there are no coincidences. Especially when you consider what happened to Fico.

Lets see what happens next....

Posted by: Skeletor | May 20 2024 11:41 utc | 10

Can anyone add to Perimetr's very interesting post?

Posted by: Victor G. | May 20 2024 11:42 utc | 11

It was an accident, it happens all the time with helicopters especially in bad weather and when it is mountainous-you are doing a poor job of speculating.

Posted by: canuck | May 20 2024 11:35 utc | 8

Indeed. It happened to Kobe Bryant a few years ago. Helicopter with no instruments + bad weather + mountain = a bad time.

Posted by: James M. | May 20 2024 11:43 utc | 12

“Circumspect” posted this link from 2010 in yesterday’s Palestine thread: Iran counterfeiting Bell’s helicopters. Contrary to the headline claim that Iran is ‘counterfeiting’ Bell helicopters the body of the article states that Iran’s domestic aviation production included a Bell factory and agreements with Bell to jointly develop a new military-class helicopter variant, dated from pre-revolution 1970s. Following the revolution Iran has continued to develop its domestic rotary aeronautical industry. To quote:

Since the 1990s, Iran has reverse-engineered parts, assemblies and in some cases, whole aircraft, including the Bell 205, 206 and 214. The work is being done by Iran Aircraft Manufacturing (HESA) and Iran Helicopter Support and Renewal (Panha). The knock-offs are being marketed under the names Shahed 276 and 278, and Shabaviz 275 and 2061 and Panha 2091, a remanufactured AH-1J Cobra. A light gunship derived from the Bell 206, the Shahed 285, was unveiled last year.

Many of these helicopters use components manufactured in Iran and from a variety of Chinese and Russian sources. To the naked eye the Iranian copies are virtually indistinguishable from the Bell originals.

I wonder if the aircraft with the VIPs was a vintage Bell 212 or a more recent Shahed built aircraft. Given the information from the Aviation Industry News link I think we cannot assume the aircraft was not equipped for instrument flight or was maintained with pre-revolution parts.

Posted by: a stone | May 20 2024 11:43 utc | 13

If it was a straightforward accident it displays absolute foolishness on behalf of those involved.

Raisi had no business in the current environment in going to Azerbaijan for a photo op.

Allowing him, the foreign minister, the governor and the Imam on the one helicopter is utterly stupid.

Why not split them between the three helicopters for security reasons?

Who was on the other two choppers?

Why decide to fly there by helicopter at all?

Who the hell thought it a good idea to fly over mountains in those conditions?

And why on earth would the Iranians choose to fly the President in an out of date rustbucket. They are not hard up, they could easily have bought a modern chopper from Russia.

Posted by: Facekicker | May 20 2024 11:45 utc | 14

I traveled in a Bell 212 in PNG once, big heavy primitive old thing. It's basically an upgraded civilian version of the old Huey. The pilot was adamant about not leaving any later than 12:00, lest the forecast afternoon fog prevent us from crossing the mountains on our trip back to Moresby. We were flying VFR, no ground radar. I didn't argue and made sure we all were ready well ahead of time for a safe return.

One wonders what sort of equipment the crew flying the president of Iran had on board, and why a country with such resources chose to fly its PM and FM on a 50 year old Western chopper, when its good friend Russia could have provided it with all the latest and greatest, as well as reducing the possibility of all the risks associated with sanctions, sub optimal maintenance and/or sabotage.

Posted by: Rubiconned | May 20 2024 11:47 utc | 15

They are not hard up, they could easily have bought a modern chopper from Russia.

Posted by: Facekicker | May 20 2024 11:45 utc | 14

They are a little bit, due to 40 plus years of sanctions, especially on aircraft parts. Russia isn't too great in that field either. You know who the leader in helicopter and airplane parts is? One guess, and they've got sanctions slapped on both Russia and Iran. So, kind of hard to get those parts.

Posted by: James M. | May 20 2024 11:49 utc | 16

"Voter turnout is usually low."

Not true. True only since the Eighth (Raisi) Presidential election, when the Guardian Council disqualified all worthy Reformist candidates.

I refused to vote for that very reason (though I would have voted Principlist). But with hindsight, I think they were right to rig that election so as to ensure a "unity" government. The country could not and cannot afford to have the executive branch in the hands of the fifth column NAFO traitors any longer.

Prior to the Raisi election, voter turnout was always higher in Iran than in all US, and most European, presidential/ head of state elections.

Nuff Sed.

Posted by: Nuff Sed | May 20 2024 11:50 utc | 17

re: Victor G. | May 20 2024 11:42 utc | 11

Was just kidding. Look up David "Dadi" Barnea :)

Posted by: Perimetr | May 20 2024 11:52 utc | 18

I therefore see nothing that would suggest a conspiracy or foreign influence in the incident.
Until I see evidence to the contrary, I share the view that this was an accident.

It was unwise to fly an old helicopter under such conditions, and very unwise to include multiple very important people on the same flight.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 20 2024 11:54 utc | 19

Raisi was the eighth president; it was not the eighth presidential election.

Posted by: Nuff Sed | May 20 2024 11:54 utc | 20

Sorry bit OT, but ICC has just issued arrest warrants for Benyamin Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant.

Posted by: unimperator | May 20 2024 11:55 utc | 21

Whether an accident or not, people will have a weird feeling and will discuss the possibility, especially after Fico. It’s the same with the ISIS-K narrative: a lot of people who would have never seen terror as an instrument of the West, started to ask questions… same with Nordstream etc. More and more people loose trust when they see the same media reaction over and over again on all of these happenings.

Posted by: Zet | May 20 2024 11:59 utc | 22

"It was an accident, it happens all the time with helicopters especially in bad weather and when it is mountainous-you are doing a poor job of speculating."

Posted by: canuck | May 20 2024 11:35 utc | 8

"Indeed. It happened to Kobe Bryant a few years ago. Helicopter with no instruments + bad weather + mountain = a bad time."

Posted by: James M. | May 20 2024 11:43 utc | 12

Five years ago in Northern Ontario a helicopter took off at night to join a bush party (1)(don't believe the CBC article, below, for what a actually happened); the two pilots were drunk and there was good weather; they crashed on a mineral property I won and I know the true story.


Posted by: canuck | May 20 2024 12:01 utc | 23

Iran overhauls/ upgrades Bell Helicopters with domestic parts and system. They make even own versions of Bell 212 and other U.S. military/civil copters. It isn't like using a 40+y old copter to transport high officials.
Here part one of a Persian report about "Iranian helicopters support and renovation company" (PNHA). Do machine translation yourself.

Raisi had a symbolic position, with limited duties. One can compare him with Germany's president which most of us doesn't even know by name.

Among his domestic duties was regular provincial visits. He tried to visit every of 31 provinces at least once a year. Some provinces were officially visited more then 5 times during a year due natural disasters and special events. So forget old copter, bad technology, U.S. sanctions narrative.

Posted by: Framarz | May 20 2024 12:01 utc | 24

“It was an accident, it happens all the time with helicopters especially in bad weather and when it is mountainous-you are doing a poor job of speculating.”

Posted by: canuck | May 20 2024 11:35 utc | 8

Are you being serious here? Who knows if it’s an accident or deliberate at this point? Appears you are speculating more than the original poster.

Anyway why did all those people get in the helo together at the same time? In a questionable area with provable questionable ties?

Think we are missing some major pieces to this story.

Posted by: free Willy | May 20 2024 12:01 utc | 25

Why this old flying museum is still in operation?

Posted by: alfeu* | May 20 2024 12:02 utc | 26

It is so easy to think this was more than a crash. We are so used to seeing the elimination of persons who have fallen from favor from powers that be. It could also be that there was something on board that caused the "hard landing". From what I gather there were no distress calls and it appears that the other two were not immediately aware that the president's bird had gone down.

With all the assassinations of Iranians one would have to assume that security would be very good and that kinda of rules out sabotage. If this area is so remote it is hard to believe a SAM could have been used as well.

So I have to agree with B, it seems to be a bad accident. If it is more I would assume it would be announced by Iran. I smile to myself when I read that Biden was rushed to the Whitehouse when this happened....I see him asking his staff "did we do this?"

Posted by: dan of steele | May 20 2024 12:03 utc | 27

Thanks b, was just about to post on the open thread this and my instant thought about it.

‘🇷🇺🇮🇷 On the evening of May 19, Putin held a meeting with the Iranian ambassador to Russia. The meeting was also attended by Belousov, Gerasimov, Kurenkov, Levitin, and Shoigu. This was reported by IRNA.

Putin stated that Russia will do everything to assist Iran with the situation involving President Raisi's helicopter, according to the Iranian ambassador in Moscow.

Putin also asked to convey a message to Iran's Supreme Leader that Moscow will help Tehran with the accident involving Raisi's helicopter.

🔴 @DDGeopolitics ‘

That is a pretty high powered consolation group!
I’ll put my opinion in next post.

Posted by: DunGroanin | May 20 2024 12:03 utc | 28

IMHO, as there exists a large enough Iranian diaspora staunchly opposed to the Islamic Republic, malfeasance CANNOT be ruled out. It is anyone’s guess as to the party or parties responsible.

That being said, we will only find out 3 to 6 months from now who the likely perps were as we will see if Iran’s policy positions change. No doubt NATOstan sees this as a major opportunity, and why not - they are well aware of how much socially progressive Iranians despise the stricter social mores imposed by the theocracy.

The question is: “Does it signify?”

As to the Slovak situation, IMO PM Fico was betrayed by those Slovaks who want a turn to the West, rather than to the East, although I must say that anyone looking objectively at social conditions in the US, Canada, the UK, France, & Germany would never want to adopt these nations’ current morals. Especially not a traditionally conservative Catholic people like the Slovaks. IMHO, the best route to a free Slovakia is to adopt the “Orbanist” model- get rid of ALL NGO’s. To quote Vikki the Piggy, “F#(% the EU!” The EU adds nothing of value to Slovakia.

Posted by: OldFart | May 20 2024 12:04 utc | 29

B will probably be right it was accident caused by technical malfunction or weather delete as applicable.

However, Israel has carried out over 2,700 assassination operations in the past 75 years so, they have previous.

Posted by: Old Sovietologist | May 20 2024 12:06 utc | 30

@Facekicker | May 20 2024 11:45 utc | 14

If I were Iranian, this is how those why's would pile up for me: I'd hope to whatever or whoever is in charge that the system is capable of self-criticism. There were so very many mistakes, Iran looks like the klutz of the axis of resistance. Stepping on rakes, unprepared for serious foes.

Sometimes I see a bird pretending to be injured so as to lure predators away from the nest. But this bird isn't just pretending a tendency toward self-injury. To err is human. Obliviousness to fatal klutziness is divine.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 20 2024 12:08 utc | 31

The current state of affairs is such that it's incumbent on Americans and their beloved, most trusted allies to furnish an alibi every time something like this happens. Because normally they are to blame.

Posted by: chunga | May 20 2024 12:10 utc | 32

Is it an unfortunate accident? A devils advocate speculation by me follows based on what is about to happen in Astana.

It seems unusual that there was only a single aircraft with all the vips - asking for such trouble isn’t it?
Helicopters can do a lot of rough weather - air sea rescue ops in rough weather are not irregular for example. But you wouldn’t want to risk such risks for ordinary travel - we cancel flights for bad weather regularly.

If any Nuttyyahoos of the ‘Make Them Up as they go along Rules based Collective Waste’, even hint at taking any responsibility - it would be officially, an undeclared war action by them, a cowardly one and they and their civilian leaderships will be toast too - faster than they think, even tens of thousands of miles away!

I can believe it is a Collective Wastes panic move following the Xi/Putin ‘Hug that Stopped The World!’ Their 8k word ‘Bible’ and the SCO, which is the real centre of the multipolar/polycentric new world order, is taking centre stage, the FMs gather in Astana shortly.

Iran as the latest member would be fully integrated into the security framework along with the other newbies and it’s a done deal - the Rules based AngloEuropean imperialism and satraps are just so much dog shit that is to be put into bag and put in history’s dustbin.

I can understand why the Iranians would be targeted under such circumstance and expect Astana with its FM and ensuing Leaders meetings will be under the most intense protection from air threats including ballistics!

The cowardly global robber barons have no other options left. A desperate decapitation strike as their last Hail Mary shot, being the psychopathic gangster they are, instead of the unconditional acceptance of the inevitable.

We are at a very dangerous moment for the planet, put on a hair trigger, by those old Money bastards and shapeshifters.They must have no illusions that it would not be a definite terminal one for them too.

The few thousands who have ruled through the century ought to have that made extremely clear to them - their wealth and estates face certain destruction within minutes/hours of any such attempt.
Wherever they hide it and themselves.

Rock on To The Real Free World!

Posted by: DunGroanin | May 20 2024 12:10 utc | 33

In 2010, the Polish president Kaczyński died in an airplane crash, along with many other dignitaries from Poland.

Wikipedia: "Both the Russian and Polish official investigations found no technical faults with the aircraft, and concluded that the crew failed to conduct the approach in a safe manner in the given weather conditions."

Back then, the reports suggested that the pilots did not dare to take a safe approach because the delays that would have come with it would have inconvenienced the Important People aboard.

So, for me, no assumption of foul play in the current case unless convincing proof is shown.

A rare case of "what I would prefer to have happened" actually being more likely than the other variant.

Posted by: A.G. | May 20 2024 12:12 utc | 34

Iran builds new helicopters today.

Posted by: Exile | May 20 2024 12:16 utc | 35

Andrei Martyanov mentions the death of Alexander Lebed in quite similar circumstances. I'll add that this strongly reminds me of the death of the death of Lech Kaczinsky when he was supposed to attend a ceremony for the Katyn massacre in Russia, and his plane crashed due to utterly shitty weather and most probably political pressure to land on time at Smolensk, weather conditions be damned.
If one suspects fool play in one case, the other should also come under suspicion.

Still, in this case, there's the ridiculous idea of pitting Foreign Minister and President in the same plane (though it won't be the first case, we see such carelessness with dire results a few times per decade), then the fact that the other 2 helicopters made it, and seemed to have trouble locating the lost one.
Besides, this happened reasonably close to Azeri, Armenian and Turkish borders - though I can't fathom Aliyev actually directly setting up a trap, because if he's end up exposed, there'll be hell to pay.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 20 2024 12:16 utc | 36

The sloppy performance of Fico's security detail makes it look as if there was a conspiracy at work.

Posted by: lysias | May 20 2024 12:16 utc | 37

Can anyone add to Perimetr's very interesting post?

Posted by: Victor G. | May 20 2024 11:42 utc | 11

That's the name of the guy running Mossad. It was a joke.

Posted by: First Time Poster | May 20 2024 12:18 utc | 38

did he consent to travel in a 40 year old chopper through mountains near borders during ww3 for foto op
a few weeks after sending drones on fly by of the knesset

something smells off

remember seal team 6 all sharing body warmth in one chopper

pull it pull the other one fishy sunak

Posted by: todd | May 20 2024 12:26 utc | 39

ICC seeks arrest of Netanyahu, Sinwar, Gallant and Haniyeh over Gaza war

Israeli prime minister, defence minister and three leaders of Hamas sought by court over war crimes

……The International Criminal Court (ICC) is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, and three leaders of Hamas, on the grounds of war crimes and crimes against humanity, the prosecutor's office announced on Monday.

Alongside Gallant and Netanyahu, the Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, its military wing's commander-in-chief Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, better known as Mohammed Deif, and its political leader Ismail Haniyeh were named in a statement by chief prosecutor Karim Khan.

Gallant and Netanyahu face war crimes and crimes against humanity charges over the starvation of civilians as a method of warfare; wilfully causing great suffering; wilful killing; intentional attacks on a civilian population and extermination, alongside several other charges.

In his statement accompanying the charges, Khan wrote: "My Office submits that the evidence we have collected, including interviews with survivors and eyewitnesses, authenticated video, photo and audio material, satellite imagery and statements from the alleged perpetrator group, shows that Israel has intentionally and systematically deprived the civilian population in all parts of Gaza of objects indispensable to human survival."…..

Posted by: Exile | May 20 2024 12:26 utc | 40

Here media ("Tagesschau") claim that the accident occurred close to Jolfa. Other media reported that reason for the journey was the inauguration of the Giz Galasi hydroelectric complex (see Wikioedia), which is 180km to the East of the crash site.

As Jolfa is rather remote, at the border of Nakhchivan (autonomous republic of Azerbaijan), to me it looks kind of strange that the helicopter took a route this far West.

Posted by: theosch | May 20 2024 12:29 utc | 41

I therefore see nothing that would suggest a conspiracy or foreign influence in the incident.

Take your time to study the topography of the scene and crash direction ... enough video material available.

Under other circumstances I would play the reasonable protocol and present the same assumption as you but not in this case.

Posted by: Framarz | May 20 2024 12:29 utc | 42

…I therefore see nothing that would suggest a conspiracy or foreign influence in the incident.
Apart from there being 3 helicopters, and only Raisi’s had an issue along with …. U$ surveillance in Azerbaijan at the time, … and Chuck Schumer… immediately came out with a statement *before the wreckage was even located* and said that he was privy to Intel that said it was *definitely an accident and not an assassination* ... I'm going to veer toward Israel, with assistance from any/ all of Azerbaijan, Georgia, U$

Posted by: Melaleuca | May 20 2024 12:31 utc | 43

To err is human. Obliviousness to fatal klutziness is divine.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 20 2024 12:08 utc | 31

You said it…

Posted by: guyy | May 20 2024 12:34 utc | 44

… looks kind of strange that the helicopter took a route this far West.
Posted by: theosch | May 20 2024 12:29 utc | 41
They were heading to another event in an Eastern Province /Azerbaijan province of Iran.
The Governor of that region was on board and killed.

Posted by: Melaleuca | May 20 2024 12:34 utc | 45

Posted by: Facekicker | May 20 2024 11:45 utc | 14

Agree with all that you say.

Somehow this number of bad decisions doesn't quite add up . . .

Posted by: Jane | May 20 2024 12:43 utc | 46

Photos from the joint dam ceremony on Azerbaijan border show a clear, fine day.
The fog came in much later, hampering locating the crash site.
The helicopter location was unknown for 10 hours.
It was a Turkiye drone in Iranian airspace that located it.
Flightrader tracked the drone looking for it.

Posted by: Melaleuca | May 20 2024 12:45 utc | 47

India lost its Chief of Defence Staff in 2021 in a similar incident.
2021 Indian Air Force Mil Mi-17 crash

Posted by: Rahul | May 20 2024 12:52 utc | 48

My former occupation required flying by helicopter through the Rockies and along the West Coast Mountains of North America, for 20 years. You would be a fool to fly in a small plane. A helicopter, despite the claim of all the various mechanical risks is far safer because of it's maneuverability. You can stop in a box canyon when you find the maps aren't what reality is, or pilot error.
Flying in rough weather, comfortable or not, is not much different than being buffeted around in a jet plane.
Clean fuel, a sober, well rested, experienced pilot flying a well-maintained chopper should be all you need for a safe journey. Time of day and weather conditions should be the pilot's decision, not the status of the passengers. Helicopters aren't falling out of the sky every day in large numbers.
Far, far too early to conclude the coincidence of weather conditions as the assassin.

Posted by: kupkee | May 20 2024 12:54 utc | 49

Another point to correct: many are saying, why was Raissi in Azerbaijan? Well, he wasn't in Azerbaijan at all. The dam project is on the border at Qiz Qalesi. The river is the frontier. That is why both presidents were there, jointly inaugurating the dam. and why Raissi was in a helicopter, there being no airstrip.

Posted by: laguerre | May 20 2024 12:54 utc | 50

My son has flown 25 years in USCG. His airframe is 45 years old. B52s on target for 100 year service life. Recognize it seems odd President flying in older helo. All vips in one is high stakes poker. Almost certainly pilot error. Vip time pressure and overconfidence.

Posted by: srysmith | May 20 2024 12:54 utc | 51

Having won the conflict in Gaza israel (netinyahoo) has by assinating the president of Iran efectivly declared war on Iran. useing deniable provocations. Ignore them and more follow. Exactly how zelensky started the war on Russia.

Dont try and apply logic or reason to netintahoo he's clinicaly insane.

Meanwhile 1,000,000 people have been moved out of Rafah without even food,water or medicine. Its over in gaza. Irans next.

Posted by: Mark2 | May 20 2024 13:03 utc | 52

Recalling the death of Stevie Ray Vaughan...he boarded the third was a departed in dense fog...and crashed into the side of a 300-foot (90 m) ski fire or one was aware of the crash until the helicopter failed to arrive at its destination.


Posted by: john | May 20 2024 13:05 utc | 53

I cannot fathom the strong opinions on the 'truth' of what happened to Raisi. It's just guesswork, and to what end? Let me commit to a guess so that I can make a further guess about what the Iranians will/won't do based on their belief about what really happened, which I could not know based either on actually knowing the truth or on their public statements about the matter?

This thread is like self-trolling. An utter waste of time.

Posted by: Honzo | May 20 2024 13:05 utc | 54

reprint from Palestine thread:

This is one of those stories in which the equation 2+2=4 is not valid.

While the focus is on Raisi and Amir Abdollahiyan, the real person of interest was the charismatic cleric Ale-Hashem with some popular influence in entire Azerbaijan region (East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan - two provinces in Iran - and then, the Republic of Azerbaijan).

The top bureaucrat Raisi and the top diplomat Amir Abdolahiyan with high symbolic value can be replaced easily but not the cleric which had a functional value in an important region.

All three belonged to the same Clerical faction of power in the Iranian government. Other factions like National Bourgeois, Technocrats, Commerce Chambers (mostly cleaned up recently) wouldn't choose this type of confrontation. Remains the faction of Finance Capital which like any other country, would be able of doing all type of crimes.

In the region, you got CIA/MI6/Mossad/MİT crime syndicates and their more or less - common operation base -in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Aliyev in the republic of Azerbaijan is smart enough to don't risk the future of his dynasty by approving such an operation. Turkey also would have a lot to lose in case of increased regional tensions but the fact is that in a Nato member country, the Intelligence apparatus is not owned by the domestic government.

Possibility of a coup d'etat, none.
Possibility of a regime change/ color revolution/ chaos, almost none.
Possibility of increased regional tensions, high.

Posted by: Framarz | May 20 2024 7:48 utc | 179

PS 1!
Which secret service is the most capable in Azerbaijan region?
Why is that?
- Turkish and Azari languages are up to 95% the same.

PS 2!
Iran has the pretext to leave NPT now. They just need to decide if they take the final step or trade the opportunity to achieve something else. We know about that in about 50 days.

Posted by: Framarz | May 20 2024 13:13 utc | 55

When it stinks like a dead fish it is quite reasonable to expect a dead fish nearby.

The stink will never go off this one.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 20 2024 13:18 utc | 56

Justo com o Raisi (e na atual conjuntura)!!!???? Há algo de podre nesse acidente!! Aguardemos....

Posted by: Aquino | May 20 2024 13:30 utc | 57

Why are people anxious to render their 'verdicts'? Why is it hard for most people to say "I don't know, ask me a year from now."?
or "I don't know about that, but I do know the West has become an empire of lies. Eventually, hopefully, all will be revealed."?
Too many of us don't know that we don't know, because we think that we do know -- without going through the 'trouble' of turning over the rocks.

"Truth, like the sun, submits to be obscured, but, like the sun, only for a time."
C.N. Bovee "Intuitions and summaries of thought" Vol II, (1862)

"A corrupt judge does not carefully search for the truth."
Horace (65 – 8 BC)

"Our No. 1 enemy is ignorance. And I believe that is the No. 1 enemy for everyone — it's not understanding what actually is going on in the world." Julian Assange

Posted by: Toby C | May 20 2024 13:39 utc | 58

Reposting from early this morning - as noted above - poor weather and poor decision to fly ... won't prevent the conspiracy theorists .....

# 40+ year old US made helicopter, mountainous terrain, bad weather buffeting the chopper and probably very poor visibility - an accident waiting to happen ...

... numerous examples of similar in UK and Ireland - e.g.

1994 Mull of Kintyre Chinook crash

On 2 June 1994, a Chinook helicopter of the Royal Air Force (RAF), serial number ZD576, crashed on the Mull of Kintyre, Scotland, in foggy conditions. The crash resulted in the deaths of all twenty-five passengers and four crew on board. Among the passengers were almost all the United Kingdom's senior Northern Ireland intelligence experts. The accident is the RAF's fourth-worst peacetime disaster.[1][2][3]

[...] In 2011, an independent review of the crash cleared the crew of negligence and accepted that the RAF had falsely declared compliance with regulations in relation to the aircraft's authority to fly.,There%20were%20two%20other%20crew.

Ignoring poor weather warnings has consequences.

Posted by: Don Firineach | May 20 2024 0:55 utc | 146

Posted by: Don Firineach | May 20 2024 13:43 utc | 59

I'm with b on this crash.
1 elderly helicopter +
Mountainous terrain +
Poor visibility +
End of a long boring/routine day
= Accident waiting to happen.

A wise old aviator once said:
"The difference between an helicopter and an aeroplane is that an aeroplane wants to fly and an helicopter wants to crash."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 20 2024 13:52 utc | 60

Well it seems everybody is in a hurry to give an accident verdict.

If it wasn't, someone is laughing very loudly right now...

Posted by: Newbie | May 20 2024 14:03 utc | 61

In other news, Slovakian president Robert Fico suffered an assassination attempt by a "Lone Gunman" (probably from a Grassy Knoll somewhere).

And those 2 Boeing whistleblowers, Joshua Dean and John Barnett, were innocently suicided within the space of 2 months, as they were prepared to expose Boeing's criminal negligence.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Posted by: ak74 | May 20 2024 14:06 utc | 62

“ I therefore see nothing that would suggest a conspiracy or foreign influence in the incident.”

Odd, b declares shotgun in the back of the head an apparent suicide. This is less than a day old and no investigation been completed by Iran, the interested party. We all know the intelligence agencies are quite capable of making this appear like an accident and Israel is capable of anything; motive and means are indusputible. Why so eager to take the debate off the table, nobody knows at this polling one way or another.

Posted by: Turk 152 | May 20 2024 14:17 utc | 63

@Turk 152 | May 20 2024 14:17 utc | 63

Odd, b declares shotgun in the back of the head an apparent suicide.
How did you arrive at that conclusion?

Posted by: Norwegian | May 20 2024 14:19 utc | 64

Flying in US built aircraft is hazardous to your health.

Posted by: rgl | May 20 2024 14:23 utc | 65

Posted by: Norwegian | May 20 2024 14:19 utc | 64

There is plenty to suggest foreign interference, whether that is indeed the case isn’t anything anyone knows at this point.

Posted by: Turk 152 | May 20 2024 14:24 utc | 66

When the US says in essence, "we didn't kill the man" before news breaks that there are casualties, yeah, my tinfoil hat radar goes up. And I smell a rat. Or dead fish (hat tip to oldhippie #56)

Posted by: Share | May 20 2024 14:24 utc | 67

However, you also said the same thing about the origins about Covid a couple of years ago despite evidence being shown to you that something nefarious was going on.

Posted by: Skeletor | May 20 2024 11:41 utc | 10

something nefarious was going on... which has not been proven yet.

Posted by: xiao pignouf | May 20 2024 14:36 utc | 68

Re: Posted by b on May 20, 2024 at 11:05 UTC | Permalink

“Iran's Supreme Leader has already announced new elections:“

With Mohkber being lawyer by trade, the Judiciary & Legislative process is bound to go smoother than last election.

I’m guessing the process will go very fast, and the decision to stamp out corruption or devices of West will be immediately subdued & countered swiftly as to not gain public turmoil. Unlike the last election, the effort to sway election, via media or on the ground paid dissidents will be met with fierce no-nonsense resistance.

The transition will be swift, as they already have also appointed the new Foreign Minister. All the rest will follow in successive order.

The West may be delusional regarding seeing this as some kind of opening for “color revolution/regime change”… Nothing if the sort will occur.

Just my opinion on the elections. We’ll see.

Posted by: Trubind1 | May 20 2024 14:37 utc | 69

Posted by: Mark2 | May 20 2024 11:31 utc | 4

"One chance in a billion"

Sounds like obese people claimimg "Im starving".

Posted by: Tannwnhouser | May 20 2024 14:47 utc | 70

That they got Kobe’ed / Stevie Ray Vaughn’ed is not in doubt. My question is why do high level emissaries travel in one vehicle risking this?

My condolences to all the families involved.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | May 20 2024 14:52 utc | 71


"On the evening of May 19, Putin held a meeting with the Iranian ambassador to Russia. The meeting was also attended by Belousov, Gerasimov, Kurenkov, Levitin, and Shoigu. This was reported by IRNA."
This is the poker tell. The Israeli response to the Irani missiles perhaps?

The only way I would believe this is an accident is if Netanyahoo outright claimed it was an assassination.

Parsing the claims of old helicopters & fog & klutziness is a waste of time at this point in time...

Posted by: Simpleton | May 20 2024 14:55 utc | 72

As to the lack of instrumentation I would say that is just speculation on B's part but I am sure the sanctions has hit them hard in this area as he suggests.

Iran: We will build our own helicopters, supply Iraq

Accident looks like the cause. I was in an aviation unit and have seen them crash in good weather. Throw in fog, wind, mountains, rain and forget about it. One would have to be very stupid to fly in weather like that. I suspect they did not have good access to current weather conditions on the flightpath or weather conditions changed rapidly in theat area. The Caspian Sea is right there and a good driver of storms in the region.

Currently there is a monster of a storm in the area. This looks like a weather related accident..

Caspian Sea live weather

Posted by: circumpsect | May 20 2024 15:06 utc | 73

high jinx rather than high jacked

a loose nut a dodgy bolt
fatigue fatigue you betcha

nothing to see here no chopper was struck by jewish lighting move along now
next next next

check out the movie the parralax view gordon willis great cinematography.

Ladies and gentlemen, you have been invited here today for the official announcement of the inquiry into the death of Senator Charles Carroll. This is an announcement, not a press conference. Therefore, there will be no questions. A complete transcript of the investigation is being prepared for publication on March 1st. At that time, the committee will hold a full-scale press conference. After nearly four months of investigation, followed by nine weeks of hearings, it is the conclusion of this committee that Senator Carroll was assassinated by Thomas Richard Linden. It is our further conclusion that he acted entirely alone, motivated by a sense of patriotism and a psychotic desire for public recognition. The committee wishes to emphasize that there is no evidence of any wider conspiracy; no evidence whatsoever. It's our hope that this will put an end to the kind of irresponsible and exploitive speculation conducted by the press in recent months, as I've said in the complete text of the hearings, which provides the bases for the committee's findings which will be published on March 1st. When you've had a chance to examine the evidence, you'll have every opportunity to ask those questions which remain unanswered, if they are any. That is all. Thank you.

Posted by: todd | May 20 2024 15:09 utc | 74

The version of a collision with a mountain in dense fog is, in principle, quite logical. The helicopter did not have any special navigational equipment for blind flying. And the pilot error version could be taken as the main one, but there is one circumstance. In the immediate aftermath of the helicopter's disappearance, reports emerged that two people flying with Ibrahim Raisi, one of whom was the helicopter's pilot, reportedly got in touch and described the incident as "non-fatal". During the inspection of the wreckage, it turned out that all the people who were on board died at the time of the collision. So who then contacted the "field", in effect, diverting the search forces on themselves? And most importantly, why?

Given that the main navigation device in foggy conditions on the helicopter was a GPS navigation system, we can assume a version of navigational sabotage. Having the exact time of departure of the helicopter from the Azerbaijani border point on Araks, the Americans were able to sharply "bury" the GPS signals in the "cell" in which the helicopter was flying, as a result of which the pilot could direct the car into the rock, believing that he was flying above the valley at a safe height .

Lord Of War

Posted by: Apollyon | May 20 2024 15:10 utc | 75

There is now a claim from the Iranians that a technical malfunction caused the crash. Combined with the early reports of a "hard landing", this suggests that the helicopter didn't merely fly into the mountain in bad weather, but suffered mechanical failure before crashing. Probably also means the pilot had time to communicate before the accident. Also, the reports of phone communication with one of the passengers suggests that it didn't simply auger into the mountain at cruising speed. The 212 is a twin engine craft that can fly with a single turbine for some time. Doesn't really help much to know this in understanding the cause, but perhaps there are flight recorders that can be recovered. The 212 is a workhorse medium helicopter with a long track record. Should be reliable transport assuming proper maintenance. I've flown in a 212 in mountains at 3,000m and can attest that it is, theoretically, a reliable craft.

Posted by: the pessimist | May 20 2024 15:15 utc | 76

Sakineh Bagoom | May 20 2024 14:52 utc | 71

My question is why do high level emissaries travel in one vehicle risking this?

That is a tell that Iranian security services were involved. The Supreme Leader's reaction was odd too, as was Iranian media coverage.

The American foreign policy establishment has made it clear they want Israel to wind down its operation in Gaza. Israel will not comply. So things are about to get bloody between those two.

This has all the hallmarks of a house cleaning, with he approval of the Supreme Leader and the IRGC. The Iranians are cutting their ties with the Americans and getting ready for the next phase. So it was with Kennedy, so it was with Khrushchev.

Posted by: Pommelgard | May 20 2024 15:17 utc | 77

thanks for the overview b.. i think it was a legit accident.. i am sorry for those who have been lost in this..

Posted by: james | May 20 2024 15:18 utc | 78

@ the pessimist | May 20 2024 15:15 utc | 76

thanks for that..

Posted by: james | May 20 2024 15:20 utc | 79

the pessimist | May 20 2024 15:15 utc | 76

You are analyzing a narrative so there will be discrepancies. Heads of state die when state security withdrawls its protection. Its that simple.

Posted by: Pommelgard | May 20 2024 15:21 utc | 80


How would the Americans know which helicopter to target and why did 2 safely navigate the terrain? What gps system do the Iranians use and are we sure this is the method of navigation? Unlikely scenario I think.

Posted by: the pessimist | May 20 2024 15:25 utc | 81

Posted by: canuck | May 20 2024 11:35 utc | 8

Somewhat rare instance where I agree with you 120% canuck. This will probably be a very long thread with a lot of conspiratorial speculation. Ho hum.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 20 2024 15:29 utc | 82

Posted by: Pommelgard | May 20 2024 15:17 utc | 77

Sick weeds pop up out of nowhere.
So this was ordered by a religious leader?
Man you are one sicko. Rename yourself kirkegaard. Better suited.

Posted by: Joey | May 20 2024 15:34 utc | 83


Iran's power structure explained [3 mins]


Posted by: Don Firineach | May 20 2024 15:37 utc | 84

About ten years ago, my best friend received the sobering news that his younger brother was dead. He had been a helicopter pilot in Ontario's north for close to 20 years. Called in for a late night rescue mission, the copter went down shortly after takeoff, killing everyone aboard.

Is it possible Mossad or the CIA could have been involved? Of course. But is it possible this is just a tragic accident? I would frankly lean that way.

Posted by: FrankDrakman | May 20 2024 15:38 utc | 85

Posted by: ak74 | May 20 2024 14:06 utc | 62

Sigh. One was probably a hit of some kind. The other was a hit of another kind... Capitalist medical malpractice.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 20 2024 15:39 utc | 86

Joey | May 20 2024 15:34 utc | 83

IRGC. Amateur.

Posted by: Pommelgard | May 20 2024 15:39 utc | 87


Breakdown of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps | WION [4 mins]


Posted by: Don Firineach | May 20 2024 15:42 utc | 88

many good comments -thank you

years as a flight instructor and FAA inspector - we found that in most instances the pilot killed his machine. That said, a full investigation will show pilot error, mechanical failure or ???. investigations take time, patience and care.

Meanwhile the world moves on. Decisions will be made much in advance of crash details.

Any pilot scud running in hilly or mountainous terrain is not operating on the safe side of the curve - skill has nothing to do with the outcome. our saying - those killed flying in bad weather are buried on sunny days

Posted by: ms idaho | May 20 2024 15:48 utc | 89

Posted by: kupkee | May 20 2024 12:54 utc | 49

I'm from the lower Rocky Mountain area and aviation family. You'll never get me willingly into almost any helicopter. Show me the weather, flight path, airplane service history and pilot quals and MAYBE I'd willingly get on a small prop flight over the mountains.

I'm not saying people and organizations don't fly countless hours without incident but it's the same as driving a car. If I'm just a passenger I have much higher expectations of all the other variables.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 20 2024 15:49 utc | 90

5 minutes of US FoxNewz propaganda - what the MAGA brigade watch ....

Iranian president's death sparked 'tremendous celebration' across Iran

Parallel universes.

Posted by: Don Firineach | May 20 2024 15:51 utc | 91

More fat people claiming starvation.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | May 20 2024 15:53 utc | 92

Again, it very well could be an accident or it could be sabotage, I honestly can’t see how someone not directly involved in an investigation 24 hours out can draw a conclusion with any certainty, given the geopolitical context in which it occurred. I am 100% clear on why it could be an accident, which I agree with. Please explain why you are convinced it can’t be sabotage?

Posted by: Turk 152 | May 20 2024 15:53 utc | 93

Since when did netinyahoo deserve the benifit of the doubt and why, the same with the US ???

Posted by: Mark2 | May 20 2024 15:55 utc | 94

Thank you, b. This is a very sad occasion for the Iranian and Azerbaijani people. My deepest sympathy to them both. We need all be aware that climate conditions, especially this time of year and in mountainous regions, can change dramatically in an instant as did happen in this case. God bless those whose only thought was to assist in the rescue attempts.

Posted by: juliania | May 20 2024 15:55 utc | 95

Since when did netinyahoo deserve the benifit of the doubt and why, the same with the US ???

Posted by: Mark2 | May 20 2024 15:55 utc | 94

Maybe everyone here except u is a zionist. Maybe its like u supporting antifa. Maybe its fat people claiming starvation. Maybe u could point out where ANY1 here gave any entity a pass? Are you obese Mark2?

Posted by: Tannenhouser | May 20 2024 16:07 utc | 96

It could be that Raisi's deputy Mohammed Mokhber lands the job on a permanent basis.

This report seems to concur with yours that the chopper suffered from technical difficulties.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 20 2024 16:21 utc | 97

There seems to be some confusion re Azerbaijan. There are two provinces in Iran with that name: east and west; then there is the country Azerbaijan (the territory of which used to be Iranian before the Russo-Persian war of early 1800s).
Raisi was visiting the provinces, not the country.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | May 20 2024 16:27 utc | 98

I believe that the images of the helicopter online are good enough that some citizen expert might be able to comment on specifics and even vintage.

One example here at the 6 Minute 20 second mark:

Posted by: David G Horsman | May 20 2024 16:28 utc | 99

Accidents happen , coincidences happen ,it’s when they are timely and convenient that makes one wonder.

Jeffrey Epstein’s timely death. The cameras were accidentally off and guards were coincidental asleep.

TWO Boing whistle blowers accidentally died in a very timely manner before testifying.

Leader who differed with NATO-EU policy dies in timely manner , assassinated by some old man.

Solamani assassinated , Iran consulate bombed , and Iran’s president has accidental death within 24 hours of Netinyahoo’s arrest warrant being issued.

Sorry if this post seems to BEG THE QUESTION as there is no proof but only insinuation but hey, I only post once a month or less.

Bartholomew Cubbins

Posted by: Bartholomew Cubbins | May 20 2024 16:31 utc | 100

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