US: Unable to assist Iran in probing Ebrahim Raisi’s copter crash : The Tribune India

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US: Unable to assist Iran in probing Ebrahim Raisi’s copter crash

State Department cites ‘logistical reasons’

US: Unable to assist Iran in probing Ebrahim Raisi’s copter crash

People attend the funeral ceremony for the victims of a helicopter crash which killed Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, in Tehran. Reuters



Washington, May 21

The Iranian government has requested the US to assist in probing the deadly helicopter crash that killed President Ebrahim Raisi, his foreign minister, and six others but Washington won’t assist Tehran largely due to “logistical reasons”, according to a senior American diplomat.

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Raisi, 63, a possible successor for Iran’s supreme leader, the 85-year-old Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, his foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and six others were found dead on Monday hours after their helicopter crashed in fog, leaving the Islamic Republic without two key leaders as extraordinary tensions grip the wider Middle East.

US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller at a press briefing said the US when asked for assistance by the Iranian government made it clear that it was ready to offer assistance, as it would do in response to any request by a foreign government in this sort of situation, but was not able to provide any help.

“I’m not going to get into the details, but we were asked by the Iranian government for assistance. We said that we would be willing to assist. It’s something that we would do with respect to any government in this situation. Ultimately, largely for logistical reasons, we weren’t able to provide that assistance,” Miller said.

In response to a question on the United States extending official condolences and participating in a moment of silence for Raisi at the UN Security Council, Miller said the US had been quite clear that Raisi was a “brutal participant” in the repression of the Iranian people for nearly four decades but Washington regretted any loss of life in a helicopter crash.

“We don’t want to see anyone die in a helicopter crash. But that doesn’t change the reality of his record both as a judge and as the president of Iran and the fact that he has blood on his hands,” Miller said. — Reuters

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