Ebrahim Raisi ’assassinated’? Many suspect Israel’s role behind the Iranian President’s death, officials clarify

Ebrahim Raisi death news: Many suspect Iran's arch-enemy Israel's role behind Iranian President Raisi's demise. They believe it to be an “assassination”. Here's how Israeli officials reacted to the allegation.

Written By Akriti Anand
Updated20 May 2024, 04:40 PM IST
Iran President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash.
Iran President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash.(HT_PRINT)

Many people have speculated that Ebrahim Raisi, the hardline President of Iran – who was killed in a helicopter crash in mountainous terrain near the Azerbaijan border – was assassinated. They suspect the involvement of Iran's arch-enemy, Israel, in the killing. 

ALSO READ: Ebrahim Raisi news: Last visual of Iranian President aboard chopper floods social media – VIDEO

Former Member of European Parliament Nick Griffin said, "There are reasons beyond the obvious Gaza/Hezbollah/Iran/Israel tensions for Mossad (Israel's national intelligence agency) to have been involved. It would not be a surprise..."

In a post on X, Griffin said Raisi and his Azerbaijani counterpart had just opened the Qiz Qalasi hydroelectric dam on their border – "a megaproject hailed as a symbol of “long-term cooperation” and “friendship and amity” between the two nations despite political disagreements in recent years".

He said in an analysis that "improving relations" between the two Shia states could only help defuse tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia. "Israel has been making big profits selling drones and other weapons used to devastate Armenian fighters in Nagorno-Karabakh. Iran has firmly backed the Armenians," Griffin said.

"Keeping the fighting on the boil is thus a mixture of profit for the huge Israeli arms industry and ancient hatred," Griffin added.

Earlier on Monday, Iranian State media confirmed the death of the 63-year-old Raisi, and the country's foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and seven others in the helicopter crash.

ALSO READ: ‘India stands with Iran in this time of sorrow,’ PM Modi, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar condole Ebrahim Raisi's death

“Iran President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash. I suspect this was an assassination. We will see if Iran will investigate thoroughly. I suspect Israel is behind this,” a social media user said on Monday.

Another user dubbed Raisi "a major strategist behind Iran's proxy wars against Israel, the US and Saudi Arabia". The user said, “...he also brutally crushed dissent, torturing and killing people who spoke up against him.”

Questions have also been raised about the potential involvement of domestic foes, given Raisi's “controversial tenure”.

Israel denies involvement

An Israeli official told Reuters it was not involved in the crash. “It wasn't us,” said the official, who requested anonymity.

Israel-Iran ties

The theory around Israel's role in Raisi's “killing” gained traction amid recent escalations between Israel and Iran, including Israel's assassination of an Iranian general in Damascus, Mohammad Reza Zahedi, and Iran's subsequent massive drone-and-missile attacks just last month.

Besides, Israel is believed to have carried out numerous attacks over the years targeting senior Iranian military officials and nuclear scientists.

Meanwhile, there is no evidence Israel was involved in Sunday's helicopter crash, and Israeli officials have not commented on the incident, on record.

(With inputs from agencies)

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First Published:20 May 2024, 04:40 PM IST
HomeNewsworldEbrahim Raisi ’assassinated’? Many suspect Israel’s role behind the Iranian President’s death, officials clarify

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