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Iranian General Staff ruled out sabotage as cause of helicopter crash with president

Iranian General Staff ruled out sabotage as cause of helicopter crash with president Ebrahim Raisi, President of Iran (photo: media reports)

Iran excludes the version that the explosion in the helicopter with the country's President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials, which led to the crash on May 19 and their deaths, could have occurred as a result of sabotage, according to the Iranian news agency Tasnim.

Such conclusions are presented in the second report of the Iranian High Commission for the Investigation of the helicopter crash with the president and delegation, published on Wednesday by the Communications Center of the General Staff of the country's Armed Forces.

The material states that the hypothesis that the explosion could have occurred due to sabotage actions during the flight and a few minutes before the aircraft collided with the mountains is rejected.

It is noted that according to the meteorological report dated May 30, the current weather and forecast from the departure point of the flight and the first and second points of the flight group were favorable and corresponded to the conditions of visual flight.

"Most of the documents, records, and documents related to the repair and maintenance of the crashed helicopter were carefully studied, and no defects that could have been significant in the crash from the point of view of repair and maintenance were found," the material says.

The helicopter was not overloaded. In addition, the recordings of conversations between the pilots of the flight group did not record the announcement of an emergency (the last contact with the pilots of the affected helicopter lasted 69 seconds before the crash).

"According to the selection of samples and tests conducted on the residues and parts of the helicopter, as well as the way they are scattered and the distance of the parts separated from the main body, the occurrence of an explosion caused by sabotage during the flight and moments before the impact on altitude differences is excluded," the Iranian news agency quotes the investigators' conclusions.

It is also stated that according to the conclusion of special experts, no traces of radio-electronic warfare on the crashed helicopter were found.

Helicopter crash involving the President of Iran

On May 19, it became known that a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi made a hard landing during a flight from Azerbaijan. The search and rescue operation lasted more than 12 hours and was complicated by poor weather conditions.

Turkiye offered its assistance in the search for Raisi and sent a drone to the mountains.

Later, on May 20, reports began to spread in the media that rescuers had found the presidential helicopter, but none of the passengers survived. Iran's vice president later confirmed Raisi's death.

It should be noted that among the victims of the plane crash were other high-ranking officials.