Israeli officials suspect Iranian president killed in crash, deny Israel involved in incident

While Israel remains mum about missing Iranian president, senior Israeli officials say Raisi is most likely dead, emphase Israel not connected to crash.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel was not involved in the crash of a helicopter carrying Iran’s president and foreign minister Sunday, senior Israeli officials said, adding that both leaders were most likely killed in the accident.

Jerusalem has remained mum amid widespread speculation that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash Sunday while returning from a visit to Azerbaijan.

Accompanied by Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and the regional governor of the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan, Raisi had taken part in the inauguration of a dam built jointly by Azerbaijan and Iran when one of two helicopters bringing the Iranian delegation back home crashed in a mountainous, heavily forested region outside of Jolfa in the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan, near the border with Azerbaijan.

U.S. officials believe Raisi and Amirabdollahian died in the crash, CBS News reported, while Yedioth Aharonoth reported that Israel has reached the same conclusions.

Citing unnamed senior Israeli officials, the report claimed that the Israeli government believes Raisi likely perished in the crash, while emphasizing that Israel was not involved in the incident.

Iranian officials have blamed the “hard landing” on inclement weather, including heavy fog.

Read  WATCH: Who was Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi?

The senior Israeli officials cited in the report also said that Raisi’s death is unlikely to cause a significant change either in Iran’s behavior towards Israel or Israeli policy vis-a-vis Tehran, given that the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, remains in power.

According to a report by Iran’s Tasnim media outlet, Mohammad Bagheri, chief of staff of the Iranian military, has ordered the armed forces and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps mobilized to join the search effort.

“The armed forces, the army, the IRGC and police command were all present in the area from the initial hours,” Bagheri said.

Thus far, Iranian search and rescue teams have been unable to reach the crash site.

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