American sanctions killed Raisi, says ex-Iranian Foreign Minister

US embargo on helicopter parts to blame for Iranian president’s death in crash, claims former Foreign Minister.

By World Israel News Staff

The fatal helicopter crash in northwestern Iran which resulted in the deaths of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his entourage – including Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian – was caused by American sanctions on the Islamic republic, a former Iranian foreign minister argued Monday.

Speaking in an interview with state media, Amir-Abdollahian’s predecessor, Mohammad Javad Zarif, claimed that the American sanctions regime on Iran, including an embargo on aircraft parts, was responsible for the helicopter crash Sunday.

“One of the culprits behind yesterday’s tragedy is the United States, because of its sanctions that bar Iran from procuring essential aviation parts,” Zarif said.

“The crime of the United States will definitely be recorded in the minds of the Iranian people and in history.”

On Sunday, the American-made, Vietnam war-era Bell 212 Twin Huey helicopter used to transport Raisi and part of his entourage crashed near Jolfa, close to the border between the nation of Azerbaijan and the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan, 375 miles northwest of Tehran.

The aircraft was exported to Iran during the Shah’s reign, which collapsed during Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.

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In response to the seizure of the American embassy in Tehran and the taking of American hostages, the U.S. imposed an embargo on Iran, preventing the sale of replacement parts and service equipment for American-made vehicles used by Iran.

Raisi and his entourage were making a return trip to Iran after visiting Azerbaijan for a ceremony marking the inauguration of a dam built jointly by the two countries.

The president’s helicopter encountered severe weather conditions, including heavy fog and strong winds, and was forced to make a “hard landing,” Iranian officials said.

Rescue teams dispatched to the crash site found no survivors.