Iran's Zarif blames U.S. Sanctions for helicopter crash that killed President Raisi

Iran's Zarif blames U.S. Sanctions for helicopter crash that killed President Raisi

Shafaq News/ Former Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has held United States sanctions on Iran responsible for the helicopter crash that killed Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and eight others, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. 

The crash also claimed the lives of East Azarbaijan province's governor, Malek Rahmati, and Mehdi Mousavi, the head of Raisi's bodyguard team.

In a phone interview with the Iranian state TV on Monday, Zarif accused the U.S. of contributing to the tragedy by sanctioning the sale of aviation equipment to Iran. 

"One of the causes of this tragic event is the United States, which sanctioned the sale of the aviation industry to Iran," Zarif stated. 

He further claimed that the sanctions prevent Iran from maintaining good aviation facilities, adding that the crash would be "recorded in the blacklist of American crimes against the Iranian nation."

The helicopter involved in the crash was a BELL 212, a two-blade aircraft manufactured in the United States capable of carrying 15 people. 

The helicopter, which was approximately ten years old, had been difficult to maintain due to U.S. sanctions, making it challenging for Iran to obtain parts or new aircraft.

Since 1979, when Iran seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran, the United States has imposed various economic restrictions on the country. These sanctions have been expanded over the years, particularly targeting Iran's suspected nuclear program. 

In the past three years alone, the U.S. has imposed more than 600 sanctions on Iranian-related entities. These sanctions target financial and economic resources, new businesses and industries, military expenditures for scientific research, and Iran's space agencies.

The Washington Institute, a U.S. think tank, notes that Iranian airlines are prohibited from purchasing aircraft that contain more than 10% U.S. parts. 

Iranian airlines operate some of the world's oldest aircraft. Bloomberg estimated the average fleet age to be over 25 years.

Shafaq Live
Shafaq Live
Radio radio icon