Raisi Funeral
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There is a significant difference between the terms "crashed" and "downed" regarding the incident involving the modern US-made Iranian presidential helicopter carrying the late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, his Foreign Minister, and their six companions. They were on a flight from the border with Azerbaijan to the city of Tabriz. Security officials must consider all hypotheses before making a final announcement about the cause of the accident, including the possibility of sabotage.

The terms "falling" and "downed" describe different circumstances and causes of a helicopter. "Downed" usually indicates that external forces, such as enemy fire, missiles, drones, electronic interference, remote sabotage, or other forms of attack, intentionally brought the helicopter down. This implies that the helicopter appropriately operated until it was attacked or encountered a hostile or sabotage act that forced it to make an emergency landing or crash. This term is commonly used in military or combat operations.

In contrast, "crash" or "fall" suggests an unintentional forced landing that led to the helicopter colliding with the ground, another surface, a plateau, or a mountain. Causes could include:
  • Sudden mechanical failure.
  • Pilot error.
  • Bad weather conditions.
  • Other non-hostile factors.
It implies the accident resulted from internal or external actions that were neither hostile nor intentional, such as a flock of birds or poor visibility. Iranian officials have begun collecting all parts of the helicopter and transporting them to a military site affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Specialists from the army, security services, and military experts are present to study all hypotheses, including the possibility that the helicopter either crashed due to an unintentional failure or was shot down by hostile forces.

The investigation aims to meticulously analyse all potential causes, ensuring no possibility is overlooked. This thorough approach is essential to accurately determine whether the tragic incident was due to mechanical failure, environmental factors, pilot error, or an intentional act of sabotage or attack.

Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi was accompanied by Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the Governor of Iranian Azerbaijan, Malek Rahmati, Sayyed Ali Khamenei's representative in East Azerbaijan, Sayyed Muhammad Ali Al Hashem (a member of the Expediency Discernment Council), the helicopter pilot Colonel Seyed Taher Mostafavi, his assistant Colonel Mohsen Daryanush, and the mechanic Lieutenant Colonel Behrouz Khademi. They were attending the opening of a dam on the border with Azerbaijan in the presence of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev. On the return flight, after half an hour of flying, the accident occurred, claiming the lives of everyone on board.