US Says No Foul Play Involved In Helicopter Crash That Killed Iranian President

(Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

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The helicopter crash that killed Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Sunday was not the result of “foreign involvement,” a U.S. official told NBC News on Monday.

A helicopter carrying Raisi, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and several other regime officials crashed in the northern region of Iran on Sunday, killing everybody onboard. Iranian-state media has thus far only attributed the crash to a “technical failure,” and a U.S. official dispelled notions Monday that foul play was involved, according to NBC. (RELATED: Princeton Tried To Bridge The US-Iran Gap — Then Tehran And Allies Kidnapped, Detained Two Students)

“No foreign involvement at all,” the official told NBC.

The Biden administration is not anticipating that Raisi’s death will create “any significant sea changes” in the U.S.-Iran relationship, the official told NBC. However, administration officials are closely monitoring the incident for developments — and for whether the Iranian regime will cast blame on the U.S.

“They already have,” the official told NBC, pointing to claims made by the former Iranian foreign minister that helicopter replacement parts were unavailable in Iran as a result of U.S. sanctions. “It’s ridiculous.”

(Photo by AZIN HAGHIGHI/MOJ News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)

Rescue team members search an area near the crash site of a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Varzaghan, in northwestern Iran, on May 20, 2024. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was declared dead on May 20 after rescue teams found his crashed helicopter in a fog-shrouded western mountain region, sparking mourning in the Islamic republic. (Photo by AZIN HAGHIGHI/MOJ News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)

Vice President Mohammad Mokhber will serve as interim president until a new president is elected within the next 50 days. The president is the second most powerful person in Iran, behind Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who expressed his condolences to the Iranian people on Monday.

Raisi served in various roles in the Iranian regime over decades and was elected as president in 2021. He was considered to be next in line to eventually succeed Khamenei, according to The Associated Press.

Raisi oversaw the oppression of the Iranian people under the authoritarian rule of the Iranian regime, which seized power in 1979. Raisi also played a role in the deteriorating ties between Iran and the West, which has become increasingly concerned over Tehran’s role in terrorism throughout the Middle East, and its advancing nuclear weapons program.

A memorial service for Raisi will be held in Iran on Monday, and a ceremony will be held on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post.

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