Why is the US Responsible for Raisi’s death?

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Qamar Bashir

The Iran government has confirmed the death of the Iranian president during the Heli crash after they discovered the charred wreckage of Heli with no survivors..

By: Qamar Bashir

After an arduous search and rescue operation involving 42 ground teams, reconnaissance drones, and Turkish high-tech drones, the charred wreckage of the helicopter was finally located early today in blizzard conditions in an area called Tawal, near the Azerbaijan border. All passengers and crew, including President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian (60), the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, officials, and bodyguards, were killed in the crash. May Allah bless their souls and grant them the highest place in Jannah. This indeed is one of the biggest tragedies to strike the Iranian nation in recent history.

This tragedy perhaps had not occurred had there been no sanctions imposed by the USA and the West. The Iranian air fleet, especially those flying machines having any sort of military and defense connotation were obsolete and needed upgradation or replacement which was not possible due to sanctions. It was therefore that  the helicopter carrying the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was 45 years old. It has earlier been used for commercial flights and later was earmarked for the presidential errands. Due to the sanction imposed on Iran since 1979, the sale of new helicopters, and provision of spare parts or upgrading of the helicopter could not be made,  resultantly the helicopter was equipped with old age tracking and communication devices faced significant limitations.

The helicopter was equipped with outdated Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs), which often failed to activate during crashes and had high false alarm rates, complicating the location of downed aircraft. Radar tracking was limited by range and terrain, creating blind spots in mountainous or remote areas. Manual position reporting by pilots was prone to human error and communication blackouts, lacking the precision needed for pinpointing crash locations. While Flight Data Recorders (FDRs) and Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVRs) are valuable for post-crash investigation, they did not aid in the immediate location of the aircraft.

Sanctions prevented the replacement or upgrading of the helicopter with modern tracking devices. Advanced GPS, ADS-B, and satellite communication technologies, like the Kannad Integra and Artex 345 ELTs, which use integrated GPS and dual-frequency transmitters for precise location tracking, were not available. Devices such as the Garmin GDL 52, offering comprehensive tracking and SOS functionalities, could have ensured effective rescue operations even in remote areas.

Additionally, due to sanctions, the weather forecast system was outdated and failed to provide accurate weather conditions. An accurate forecast might have led to postponing the flight until safer conditions prevailed.

This is not the only tragedy faced by Iranian nations due to the sanctions which had made air travel extremely dangerous and perilous, and have so far resulted in the loss of 2000 precious lives due to the accidents which could have been avoided if the flying objects were upgraded, refurbished or replaced with new ones.

Iranian media very professionally kept on changing the semantic of the incident from hard landing to accident and from accident to crash.  The key differences lie in the severity of impact, extent of damage, likelihood of injuries, and the recoverability of the aircraft, with hard landings being less severe than crashes, which typically involve complete destruction and severe consequences,  thus has prepared the Iranian people for the worst case scenario.

There have also been conspiracy theories circulating not only in the social media but as well as traditional media saying that somehow Israel was involved in this crash and killing of President Raisi (Late) to avenge the  Iranian attack on Israel with drones, rockets and cruise missiles a few days ago.

If this theory holds ground now or at any time in future the entire region will be plunged into total chaos.  Iran would likely react with outrage, accusing Israel of an act of war, which could lead to military mobilization and retaliatory threats. The Iranian proxies in the middle east like Hamas, Hezbollah, Iraq Brigade,  Houthis and in Syria who will do whatever in their power to avenge the death of second most important leaders who was known as ultra hardliner, highly religious and pro revolutionary was most likely the heir apparent of the religious head of Iran Ayatollah Khomeini who is 83 and facing health situations.

The regional implications would be significant, with potential destabilization across the Middle East. Globally, the United States, as a key ally of Israel, would be drawn into the conflict, facing pressure to support Israel while trying to prevent a full-scale war. US-Iran relations would likely deteriorate further, impacting diplomatic efforts and nuclear deal negotiations.  Internationally, powers like Russia, China, and the European Union would call for restraint and engage in intense diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the situation.

The global oil markets would likely see a spike in prices due to fears of supply disruptions, affecting economies worldwide. Long-term effects could include accelerated nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and shifts in geopolitical alliances as countries reassess their security and foreign policy strategies.

This is highly unfortunate that Iran had lost its cherished leader as the Middle East remains unsettled by the Israel-Hamas war, during which Raisi under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei launched an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel, pursued Iran’s uranium enrichment dream to weapons-grade levels and supplied bomb-carrying drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine and armed militia groups across the region has heightened tension with the West.

The entire Iranian nation is in a state of shock and mourning, both within Iran and among its proxies around the world. An official mourning period has been declared, with public displays of grief and statements of condolences pouring in from Iran’s allies and proxies.

This tragic event could lead to a period of significant uncertainty and potential power struggles within Iran, impacting both its domestic politics and foreign relations. The loss of such key figures may affect Iran’s regional strategies and stability, with potential repercussions for its foreign policy and relations with neighboring countries. The international community will closely watch how Iran navigates this crisis, as the implications could extend far beyond its borders, affecting the broader geopolitical landscape.

By  Qamar Bashir

Former Press Secretary to the President

Former Press Minister to the Embassy of Pakistan to France

Former MD, SRBC