'It wasn't us', Israel official says country not involved in Iran President's death

1 month ago

An Israeli official on Monday stated that the country was not involved in the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash.

The remarks came amid claims that Mossad was involved in the helicopter crash on Sunday, which killed Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and six other passengers and crew.

"It wasn't us," news agency Reuters quoted the official, who requested anonymity.

The charred bodies of the Iranian president and others were found early Monday morning near the mountains close to the Azerbaijan border after an overnight search. The country then officially declared the death of its leader later today.

Attacks and conflicts involving Iran and its proxy groups erupted in the Middle East in the past few months after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, which led to a bloodbath in Gaza.

Iran supported Hamas in the conflict, and the Tehran-backed Lebanese Shia militia Hezbollah was also involved in direct conflict with Israel.

The “shadow war" between Iran and Israel broke into the open last month with tit-for-tat exchanges of drone and missile fire.

However, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that he did not have insight into the cause of the helicopter crash that killed Raisi. Austin also said that he did not necessarily see any broader impact on regional security. "I can't speculate on what may have been the cause," he told reporters.

Meanwhile, the White House responded that the dead Iranian President had "blood on his hands" for supporting extremist groups in the region.

"No question this was a man who had a lot of blood on his hands," White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters, adding that the United States will continue to hold Iran accountable for what he called destabilizing activity in the region.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei appointed Mohammad Mokhber, who was the First Vice President, as the interim president. A high-level probe has also been started into the incident.

Published On:

May 21, 2024

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