US backtracks on Iranian request to help find Raisi’s helicopter, gives bogus excuse

The State Department said “logistical reasons” prevented a positive response.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The United States rejected an Iranian request to help find their president’s downed helicopter, the State Department said Monday at a press briefing.

“We were asked by the Iranian government for assistance,” said spokesperson Matthew Miller.

“We said that we would be willing to assist, it’s something that we would do with respect to any government this situation,” he noted.

Without providing any additional details, Miller then stated that “Ultimately, largely for logistical reasons, we were unable to provide that assistance.”

President Ebrahim Raisi was killed Sunday night when his helicopter crashed in a mountainous region in Iran in a heavy fog.

Seven others died as well, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and an Iranian general.

The helicopter was found Monday morning after dozens of search crews were dispatched to the correct area once a drone located the wreckage.

The request was both rare and surprising, given the fact that the Islamic Republic has expressed its hatred of what its leaders call “the Great Satan” for decades.

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The State Department shocked many with its initial statement after Raisi’s death was confirmed, which contained no reference to the thousands of Iranians Raisi had had executed over the years for participating in anti-regime protests.

“The United States expresses its official condolences for the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian, and other members of their delegation in a helicopter crash in northwest Iran.  As Iran selects a new president, we reaffirm our support for the Iranian people and their struggle for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” it said.

The American deputy ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, also stood alongside all the members of the UN Security Council when a moment of silence was called for in remembrance of the Iranian leader and the others who died.

Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan was shocked by the gesture.

“You saw correctly,” he posted to X. “The UN Security Council dedicated a moment of silence in memory of the mass murdering president of Iran, Raisi. What a disgrace.”

In Monday’s briefing, Miller was asked whether the State Department now views those actions as “appropriate,” considering the backlash they engendered.

“We have been quite clear that Ebrahim Raisi was a brutal participant in the repression of the Iranian people for nearly four decades,” the spokesperson answered.

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“He was involved in numerous horrific human rights abuses, including playing a key role in the extrajudicial killing of thousands of political prisoners in 1988. Some of the worst human rights abuses occurred during his tenure as president, especially the human rights abuses against the women and girls of Iran.”

He then excused the first, bland statement, noting, “That said, we regret any loss of life. We don’t want to see anyone die in a helicopter crash…. It doesn’t change our view of him, our view of the regime.”

Speculation has been rife on the internet over whether either the U.S. or Israel had a hand in the crash. Both countries have denied all such claims.