Was The Iranian Helicopter Crash An Accident Or An Assassination?

By, Andrew Korypko – PHD

The Mainstream Media always blames the West’s geopolitical adversaries without any evidence and solely based on vibes-driven speculation whenever something goes wrong on their side of the world, which the Alt-Media Community mocks and discredits, yet many of the latter are now doing the same regarding this crash.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azerbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati, Friday prayers leader of the city of Tabriz Seyyed Mohammad Ali Al-e Hashem, member of the president’s bodyguard team Mahdi Mousavi, and their helicopter crew were just declared dead after they crashed into the mountains on Sunday during very foggy weather. They were leaving an event on the Araz River bordering Azerbaijan where they inaugurated a new project.

Two other helicopters from this flying convoy safely made it across the mountains, which is why some from the Alt-Media Community (AMC) speculated that the one carrying those aforementioned officials might have been sabotaged or even shot down as part of an assassination plot. Many adherents of this theory point to Iran’s tensions with America and Israel to justify their conjecture, while others suggested that Azerbaijan was involved considering its close ties the self-professed Jewish State.

It’s premature to jump to scandalous conclusions though since the investigation into this incident has only just begun, with those who do so discrediting the AMC by doing the exact same thing that their Mainstream Media (MSM) rivals do whenever something unfortunate happens in the West. The MSM always blames the West’s geopolitical adversaries without any evidence and solely based on vibes-driven speculation, which the AMC mocks and discredits, yet many of the latter are now doing the same.

A perfect example of this in practice can be seen by Pepe Escobar, who confidently declared that “Once again: no ‘accident’. A MAJOR strategic mistake of cramming the top government circle on the SAME copter for a visit to a very dodgy border and when the whole of West Asia is a giant volcano.” The innuendo is that the Azerbaijani border is unsafe, which is a wink to that country’s close ties with Israel, so those Iranian officials should supposedly have never visited it to inaugurate that new project.

Pepe is a top AMC influencer who’s been honored with privileged access to the Russian elite over the past year after they opened all the doors and rolled out the red carpet for him as part of a fresh soft power push. His annual meetings with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Eurasian Economic Union Minister of Integration and Macroeconomics Sergey Lavrov coupled with his platforming on top domestic political talk shows and partnership with the prestigious Valdai Club made many think they can trust him.

Regrettably, he betrayed that trust by infamously claiming last month that Russia shot down a nuclear-armed Israeli F-35 over Jordan that was supposedly on its way to bomb Iran, which discredited the AMC as well as his partners in Russia by association. It was wondered whether “Pepe Was Duped By A Foreign Spy Agency Into Spreading Fake News About Russia & Israel”, which was lent credence after he then admitted in this video here that such an agency told him this story in order to influence perceptions.

He can no longer be considered a reliable source of information, which is proven by how easy it is to debunk his latest conspiratorial innuendo of Azerbaijani involvement in Sunday’s incident. President Ilham Aliyev’s official website shared the full transcript of his remarks with President Raisi on that fateful day, which can be read in English here. The late Iranian leader repeatedly praised that neighboring nation and ominously warned about unnamed enemies who are upset by their excellent relations.

Here are some notable excerpts (emphasis added):

“This is a very memorable and historic day for the dear and valuable people living in Azerbaijan and Iran, especially for our peoples living in the East Azerbaijan province, in Ardabil, Tabriz and border regions. I hope that our citizens will benefit from this project. The Araz River has always been a bond between Iran and Azerbaijan, between our peoples. The province of East Azerbaijan has, particular, always been a bond between Azerbaijan and Ardabil.

This project is of tremendous importance and, of course, it creates a great hope between the peoples of the two countries. At the same time, it makes our enemies envious. We, of course, are brotherly, neighboring and friendly countries. As the Supreme Religious Leader stated, Iran’s relationship with Azerbaijan is more than a relationship with a neighbor. It is a kinship. This connection and bond is a very strong, it is a very deep bond.

This bond, this relationship is based on the deep historical, cultural and religious ties between the two countries. Of course, this connection brings our peoples together as a historical connection between our countries. This connection is in the hearts, it comes from the hearts, and it is unbreakable. The relationship between the two countries will not be damaged or shaken no matter what. These relations will grow and strengthen day after day.

Of course, as a result of the sanctions imposed on us, they tried to slow down our development, but they failed. As we all know, the Iranian people have created a very strong and developed country in the field of science and technology. In this regard, I told President Ilham Aliyev that there were no obstacles hampering the development of relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan. Our relations must be at the highest level in all areas.

Taking this opportunity, we would also like to congratulate our Azerbaijani friends on restoring the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We were one of the first countries to explicitly state that Karabakh is the territory of AzerbaijanI want to state again that we are always ready to show our cooperation on the basis of the revival program in this region, in Karabakh. The 140km railway and bridges over highways under construction in the Kalalah-Aghband region are also strategic projects.

We, the people of Azerbaijan and Iran, do not hesitate in supporting the Palestinian people and the people of Gaza. We have no doubt that they despise the Zionist regime. We are sure that cooperation between Muslim countries in solving problems in the Islamic world is of great importance. The relations between the two countries should be transformed into regional cooperation and, of course, should be continued in international organizations.

Finally, I want to note that some powers may not be impressed with the development of relations between our two countries. But the main thing is our own interests, and the relations between our two countries are very important for us. The relations in the fields of energy, transport, culture, economy and trade should serve the interests of the peoples of our countries. The most important issue for us is the interests of our countries.

The enemies do not want to see the development of either Azerbaijan or Iran. We think that the development of Azerbaijan is our own development. Any issue that threatens the security of the border between the two countries can also pose a threat to us. We try to turn our borders into borders of hope. We try not to be concerned about borders. The borders should create opportunities and hopes for us. We try to turn borders into opportunities.”

These were literally some of the last words that President Raisi ever spoke.

It’s therefore extremely disrespectful to his legacy for Pepe and others like him to insinuate that Azerbaijan had anything to do with Sunday’s incident. President Raisi wanted to repair the previous mistrust that characterized Iranian-Azerbaijani relations, to which end he and his counterpart pioneered a rapprochement late last year that was detailed here and here. The latest phase thereof was their joint inauguration of a new project on the Araz River between their two countries.

President Raisi and the Iranian security services responsible for his safety clearly felt comfortable enough with that day’s event otherwise he wouldn’t have attended it in person. The Iranian-Azerbaijani border isn’t “dodgy” like Pepe falsely described it as for reasons that only he can account for if politely challenged by his followers on social media to do so, but peaceful and secure, so much so that both sides decided to launch a new project there and dispatch their leaders to inaugurate it.

The Iranian one had nothing but praise for Azerbaijan in spite of the latter’s close ties with Israel, thus proving that President Raisi doesn’t regard his partner’s foreign policies to be part of a zero-sum game, nor does his country pressure them to make corrections to align with Iran’s interests. To be sure, Iran would prefer if they all followed the same policy towards Israel as it does, but it didn’t feel threatened by Azerbaijan’s ties with Israel otherwise President Raisi wouldn’t have been allowed to attend the event.

In fact, Azerbaijan’s aforesaid relations with Israel didn’t prevent the US from ramping up its fake news and sanctions threats pressure against that country in the aftermath of Baku liberating the entirety of its previously Armenian-occupied regions last September. The US is actually in the midst of attempting to geostrategically destabilize the region via its simultaneous Color Revolution campaigns against Armenia and Georgia in order to divide-and-rule it by provoking more conflicts with their neighbors afterwards.

Iran obviously took note of the newfound pressure that the US was applying towards Azerbaijan via its two Western neighbors, which is being imposed as punishment for its independent foreign policy and the sanctions valve that it provides for Russia via participation in the North-South Transport Corridor. This explains the premier importance that President Raisi attached to comprehensively expanding Iranian-Azerbaijani relations and why he decided to attend Sunday’s event in person for that purpose.

Even though Azerbaijan’s involvement in this incident has logically been ruled out, the same can’t be said for American or Israeli involvement, though extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence but thus far all that the AMC has to share at this point is vibes-driven speculation given the geopolitical context. That’s sufficient for not discounting this possibility, but it’s inadequate for confidently passing it off as a statement of fact like top AMC influencer Pepe just dishonestly did.

Everyone’s entitled to their views, but jumping to conclusions about this being an assassination risks discrediting Iran if its investigation finds that this was indeed just a tragic accident. Those AMC members who suspect that such an outcome is just a cover-up might then think that the Islamic Republic is too scared to retaliate against Israel and/or the US depending on who they blame. Considering Pepe’s self-admitted ties with foreign intelligence agencies, one must wonder why he jumped the gun on this.

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