Did Israel + US Crash Iran President’s Helicopter?!

12 Min Read

Did Israel and the United States cause the helicopter used by the President of Iran to malfunction and crash?! Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : Israel + US Crashed Iran President’s Helicopter!

Within hours of news breaking that the helicopter carrying the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials crashed, people started sharing a message claiming that Israel and the United States caused the helicopter used by the President of Iran to malfunction and crash!

Reactions to the “purported” crash of the helicopter carrying the Iran President and other top ranking Iranian officials

📍 All the analysts believe that the President and the other ministers are probably dead by now despite rescue efforts underway to find the plane.

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Did Israel + US Crash Iran President's Helicopter?!


No Evidence Israel + US Crashed Iran President’s Helicopter!

This appears to be yet another example of fake news circulating on WhatsApp and social media, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Unknown If Ebrahim Raisi Was Dead Or Alive At That Time

On Sunday, 19 May 2024, the President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi arrived at the northern border between Iran and Azerbaijan, to inaugurate the Gir Galasi hydroelectric dam with the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. After that inauguration, the Iranian delegation left in a convoy of three helicopters to Tabriz.

At approximately 1:30 PM local time, the helicopter carrying the Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Governor of East Azerbaijan Malek Rahmati, and Supreme Leader Representative in East Azerbaijan Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, crashed shortly after some passengers made an emergency call.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) described the crash as a “hard landing”. Even at 10:30 AM (GMT+8) on Monday 20, it was unknown if anyone was injured or killed in that crash.

An Iranian official told Reuters that rescuers were still struggling to reach the crash site, and that the lives of Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were “at risk following the helicopter crash”.

How is it possible for anyone to know that Israel and the United States are responsible for the helicopter crash, when rescuers had not even reached the crash site that day, never mind investigate the cause of the crash at that time???

It was only at approximately 12:30 PM (GMT+8) on 20 May – almost a whole day later, that Iranian state TV confirmed that President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and several others were killed in the helicopter crash.

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Fact #2 : Two Other Helicopters Arrived Safely

The viral message claimed that Israel and the US brought down the helicopter carrying the Iranian president by [remotely] disabling its navigation system.

If there was an electronic attack on the helicopter, it would have affected the other two helicopters travelling in the same convoy. Yet the other two helicopters landed safely.

In addition, the flight crew and occupants of those two helicopters did not claim or report that there was an attack on the helicopter that crashed.

Fact #3 : Iranian State Media Blamed Bad Weather For Crash

Iranian state media did not blame Israel or the United States for the helicopter crash. Instead, Iranian state media blamed bad weather for crash, and said that the helicopter made a “hard landing” after getting into difficulties while travelling through heavy fog in the mountainous area.

The rain and heavy fog also made it extremely difficult for rescue efforts, with Iranian state TV broadcasting footage of rescuers trying to reach in the rain and fog trying to reach the crash site. Iranian state media quoted a regional army commander as saying:

The area has very cold, rainy, and foggy weather conditions. The rain is gradually turning into snow.

If the Iranians are not even blaming Israel or the United States for the crash, why would anyone claim otherwise???

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Iran President helicopter crash rescuers in fog

Fact #4 : No Reputable Analyst Claimed Israel / US Involvement

The viral message claimed that “the majority of analysts” or “all the analysts” believe that the helicopter crash was caused by Israel and the United States. That’s utter nonsense.

Currently, no reputable analyst has made such claims. In fact, the viral message did not even name a single analyst who made such a claim!

Fact #5 : Viral Photos Show Trident Pier In Gaza!

To make the fake message more convincing, it comes with two photos, purportedly of US Army equipment used to attack the helicopter carrying the President of Iran. That’s just utter nonsense.

For one thing – the photos were taken at the Trident pier the US military built to provide aid to the Gaza Strip – over a thousand kilometres away!

In addition, it only shows point defences protecting the pier, specifically a Counter-Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar (C-RAM) system with a 20mm Gatling gun, and the M-LIDS system which targets drones and other UAVs.

These point defence systems are very short-ranged, and cannot attack helicopters flying over a thousand kilometres away!

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Did Israel + US Crash Iran President's Helicopter?! Did Israel + US Crash Iran President's Helicopter?!

Fact #6 : Russia Did Not Blame Israel + US For Iran Helicopter Crash

Finally, the viral message falsely claimed that Russian Foreign Minister said that “Israel carried out the assassination of the Iranian President under the auspices of the United States of America.”

That’s not true. Sergey Lavrov has not commented on the Iranian president’s helicopter crash, never mind blame Israel and the United States for it.

Only Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has commented on the helicopter crash, stating:

We are closely following the reports about the passengers of the third helicopter, which carried top-ranking Iranian officials, including President Raisi.

We sincerely hope that they are alive and their lives are out of danger. Russia is ready to offer all necessary help in the search for the missing helicopter and the investigation of the accident.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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