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Trouble in Tehran: Iranian President’s Death Sends Shockwaves

Trouble in Tehran: Iranian Presidents Death Sends Shockwaves

In Tehran, the Iranian government under Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is in slight disarray, following the unexpected death of President Ebrahim Raisi, as well as other senior Iranian officials, in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

President Raisi was joined by Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Governor-General Malek Rahmati, East Azerbaijan’s representative of the Supreme Leader Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, as well as Raisi’s bodyguard and three of the flight crew.  President Raisi was coming back from Iran’s border with Azerbaijan after attending the inauguration of a dam with Azerbaijan’s President, Ilham Aliyev.

The President’s Iranian Air Force Bell 212 utility helicopter suffered what state media called a ‘hard landing’ on Sunday morning EST.  Throughout the crisis, rescuers were struggling to locate the helicopter due to contradictory reports as well as the harsh weather conditions of the crash site.

“The esteemed president and company were on their way back aboard some helicopters and one of the helicopters was forced to make a hard landing due to the bad weather and fog,” the Interior Minister said on State TV.

The Iranian Armed Forces were deployed to assist in search efforts and it wasn’t until 20:00 local time that the crash was located.  According to reports, the Ayatollah’s Representative Ale-Hashem was alive for up to an hour after the crash with a crew member also calling in for help. It was nearly 12 hours before rescuers spotted the crashed helicopter.  All eight passengers were found dead in the crash that was discovered in dense fog, amid a mountainous forest.

President Raisi was seen as an Iranian hardliner, known as the ‘Butcher of Tehran’ for his role in the 1988 political executions of opposition forces to the Iranian Government.  Throughout most of his life, President Raisi followed a more judicial path and was seen as a potential successor to the Ayatollah, Ali Khamenei.  Raisi had been President of Iran since winning the rigged 2021 elections, defeating his moderate successor.  Under Raisi’s Presidency, Iran-US negotiations stalled, enrichment of uranium and Iran’s nuclear program progressed further, Iran supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Iran fired missiles in coordination with Hamas terrorists into Israel during their current conflict.

The First Vice President of Iran, Mohammad Mokhber, is now the acting President as designated such by the Iranian Constitution, and consented to by Supreme Leader Khamenei.  As per the Iranian Constitution, a new election must take place within 50 days.  Supreme Leader Khamenei stressed that Iran’s government was running uninterrupted, and addressed the change in command.

“I announce five days of public mourning and offer my condolences to the dear people of Iran,” declared Supreme Leader Khamenei in a statement.

The US State Department, as well as dozens of other heads of state and government, provided statements or condolences to Iran, with President Vladimir Putin calling Raisi “a true friend of Russia”.

“For our part, we’re going to continue to stand with the Iranian people as they fight for their own civil rights and — as they should.  And we’re going to continue to hold Iran accountable for all their destabilizing behavior in the region, which continues to this day.”, White House Nat. Security Communications Advisor John Kirby said in a press briefing, on Monday afternoon.

Iran hasn’t officially released a cause for the crash however they have placed some blame on the United States given the US’ sanctions on the nation, and particularly aviation parts causing Iran to have outdated helicopters and airplanes with little parts to repair them.  Undoubtedly with such a major player having gone through such a sudden change in a volatile part of the world, all eyes are on Iran as they go forward amid this unexpected event.

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About the Writer
Benjamin Nguyen
Ben is a Junior at Lakota West High School.  There he serves as the Junior Class Representative of Student Government as well as plays for the Lakota West boys Tennis team.  This is his second year of Journalism and usually writes his passions and interests for the website.  He likes to talk politics, history, philosophy, and theology, as well as just casually talking with good friends.  He is South Vietnamese American, Christian, and 16 years old.  While Ben was born in Columbus, he considers his hometown Hamilton, OH, as he lived there for the first 10 years of his life.  

“The first step towards failure is bringing it up”

Ben Nguyen

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