US Claims Iran Sought Help Over Raisi Crash

Tue May 21 2024
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WASHINGTON: The United States has claimed that arch-foe Iran sought help over a helicopter crash that killed president Ebrahim Raisi and foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, as Washington also offered condolences.

The State Department said Tehran reached out after President Raisi’s aging helicopter crashed in foggy weather Sunday.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller claimed that they were asked by the Iran for help after the accident. He said, “We said that we would be willing to help — something that we would do with respect to any government in situation like this.”

He added that largely for logistical reasons, they were unable to provide that help to Iran. However, the spokesperson declined to go into more detail or describe how Tehran and Washington communicated. But he signaled Tehran was seeking help in the immediate aftermath to find the helicopter of Raisi.

The crash took place following the US and Iran reportedly held their latest quiet discussions in Oman aimed at increasing stability after open clashes between Israel and Iran.

In a statement, the State Department offered “formal condolences” over the deaths of Iranian President and foreign minister. It added that as Iran selects a new leader, they reaffirm their support for the Iranians and their struggle for human rights.

On the other hand, Iran’s army ordered an investigation after the crash. It has often in the past alleged security incidents on the United States and Israel, which both in recent years have struck Iranian targets, AFP reported.

Former foreign minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif blamed the crash on continued Washington’s sanctions which have hindered the sale of aviation parts.

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