Iran decapitated. Will Islamic Republic plunge into chaos?

Iran beheaded. Who wanted to take Ebrahim Raisi out?

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash. The crash took place in the north-west of the country soon after Raisi's meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. The tragedy immediately gave rise to rumours about the involvement of Israeli intelligence services in the crash of Raisi's helicopter. Israeli officials denied the connection with the disaster and pointed to difficult weather conditions in the helicopter crash area.

Ebrahim Raisi's death has created a power vacuum that various groups will try to fill. His death may also change the established balance of power in the highest echelons of power.

The helicopter with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on board was returning from Azerbaijan after a working visit of the Iranian delegation. In the Arsbaran region of East Azerbaijan province in the north-west of the country, the helicopter disappeared and crashed. It was first reported that the chopper made an emergency landing 40 kilometres from the border with Azerbaijan in the vicinity of the village of Uzi.

Seventy-three rescue teams were searching for the crashed helicopter for more than ten hours. The search operation was complicated by severe weather conditions. Rain and fog limited visibility on the ground to five to six meters.

Turkey sent 32 climbers to search for the helicopter. European Union countries participated in the operation and activated the Copernicus satellite Earth observation system to assist in the search.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to sent rescuers to the region. By the morning of May 20, rescuers reached the crashed helicopter, but found no survivors.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Governor of East Azerbaijan Province Malek Rahmati, Imam of Friday prayers in Tabriz Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Al-e-Hashem, as well as the helicopter crew and security officer were among the victims.

According to the head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, Pir Hossein Kolivand, the helicopter burned down during landing completely, all passengers were killed in the crash.

The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran published an obituary in which Ebrahim Raisi was presented as a leader who sacrificed himself for the good of the entire nation.

Many countries around the world expressed their condolences to Iran. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russian had known the Iranian President and Foreign Minister as true friends.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, European Council President Charles Michel, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also expressed their condolences.

Raisi's death gives rise to rumours and conspiracy theories

Many mass media outlets started speculating about the alleged involvement of the United States and Israel in the crash of Raisi's helicopter.

Some assumed that Ebrahim Raisi was allegedly killed as retaliation for Iranian missile strikes on Israeli territory in April.

"The threat posed by Iran and its proxies to Israel, to regional stability and to American interests is clear.” US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said just a few days ago.

According to The New York Times, the helicopter crash occurred just a few days after negotiations between representatives of Iran and the United States. The talks became the first contact between the two sides after the attacks on Israel. The talks were supposed to reduce tensions in the region.

However, the United States stated that there was no evidence of Israeli involvement in the incident.

Israel also released a similar statement to deny its involvement in the crash.

Weather difficulties and the technical condition of the helicopter are believed to be the most plausible version of the crash.

Iran announces reason behind helicopter crash

On May 20, Iran announced the cause of the helicopter crash in which Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and their entourage were killed.

"Raisi died on Sunday (May 19, 2024) in a helicopter crash that took place due to a technical malfunction,” IRNA reports.

After the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was confirmed, the question immediately arose of how the incident may affect the political life of the country.

In accordance with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the powers of the president shall be transferred to Raisi's Vice President Mohammad Mokhber. He will serve as head of state for 50 days until new elections.

The powers of the President of Iran are different from those established for the position of the head of state in Russia, the USA and European countries.

The President of Iran performs representative functions that are somewhat similar to those of the Prime Minister under strong presidential power.

The head of the Islamic Republic is the Supreme Leader of Iran, spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Yet, the election of a more conservative or liberal politician as president may change the balance of power between different factions in the Iranian leadership.

Chairman of the Majlis (parliament) and former mayor of Tehran Mohammed-Bagher Ghalibaf, is believed to be one to the candidates for president's office, The Atlantic wrote. He had run for president several times and established himself as an effective manager, technocrat, a conservative figure. However, his keen desire to occupy this high post raises concerns among Iranian leaders.

 

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Iran President dies in helicopter crash
Author`s name Angela Antonova
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Editor Dmitry Sudakov
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