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Iranian President’s Helicopter Crash: Unraveling the Mystery Behind the Tragedy

In the past two days, something happened that shocked the world:

The plane on which Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Raisi was riding fell out of the air. Except for the tail, other parts were smashed to pieces, and the propeller and cockpit were burned.

 Leahy was killed instantly.

 It is estimated that many people have read this news.

 In today’s article, I mainly want to talk about three issues that many people ignore: 

1. Why did President Leahy choose to travel by plane?
2. Moreover, this plane is also a helicopter. What surprised many people even more was that it was a helicopter produced by the United States more than 40 years ago. You know, Iran and the United States are sworn enemies.
3. How could a plane crash with presidential-level dignitaries on board?

Looking at these three questions from a point-to-point perspective, we can better understand this event.

 Before officially starting the article, let me give you a little background.

 This incident shocked the whole world for several main reasons.

First, Iran is tough enough. As we all know, Iran can be said to be the strongest opponent of the United States in the entire Middle East.

Second, Lexi is tough enough. Being tough on the United States is President Leahy’s label. During the general debates of the 76th and 77th United Nations General Assembly, he attacked the United States in a high-profile manner.

 He also publicly said that the U.S. military is the most hated military.

Third, it is a bit unbelievable that the president of the country, and the head of a regional power like Iran, would have a plane crash.

The unexpected death of such an “anti-American fighter” from such a big country immediately attracted worldwide attention.

 Next, I will begin to answer the three questions at the beginning of the article one by one.

 Why did President Leahy choose to travel by plane?

In fact, not only President Leahy, but also many leaders in Iran like (more accurately, are accustomed to) flying to other places by helicopter.

Iran’s land area is still very large, with 1.645 million square kilometers, ranking 17th in the world.

In terms of terrain, Iran is one of the most mountainous countries in the world. Rugged mountains separate various basins and plateaus. The average altitude is between 900-1500 meters. A quarter of the country is desert.

 The most terrible thing is that Iran is somewhat poor.

Iran’s GDP in 2023 is only US$430 billion. If placed in China, it would probably be a little higher than Yunnan Province, but not as good as Jiangxi.

 The per capita GDP is only US$4,886.

An important consequence of poor geographical conditions and poverty is that Iran’s infrastructure is too poor.

The total mileage of ordinary roads operated in Iran is less than 45,000 kilometers, the highways are only more than 2,700 kilometers, the railways are less than 15,000 kilometers, and there is no high-speed rail.

By comparison, Jiangsu now has 160,000 kilometers of highways, including 5,089 kilometers of expressways in operation; 4,276.9 kilometers of railways in operation, including 2,217.6 kilometers of high-speed railways.

You know, Jiangsu’s area is less than 110,000 square kilometers, less than 1/15 of Iran’s area.

 This time, President Leahy flew to the border between Iran and Azerbaijan.

At the border, he inaugurated a dam with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

The crash site this time is a 2-hour drive from Tabriz (the capital of East Azerbaijan Province, Iran), the nearest provincial capital city in Iran, let alone the capital Tehran.

Therefore, faced with such a poor ground transportation system, it is natural to choose to fly.

 Next, the question is:

Why is the anti-American President Leahy flying in a helicopter produced in the United States more than 40 years ago?

 Sitting in a helicopter, it is easy for everyone to think of the reason.

According to the Iranian investment guide issued by China’s commerce, foreign affairs and other departments, Iran only has 55 airports.

For a country as large as Iran, there are obviously too few airports.

Helicopters are obviously suitable for leaders to inspect, saving time and making it easy to take off and land.

The helicopter that President Leahy took this time is a Bell-212 with 15 seats (1 pilot, 14 passengers).

This Bell 212 is an improved model of the famous UH-1 “Huey” helicopter during the Vietnam War. It was produced by Bell Helicopter Company of the United States and officially entered commercial use in 1971.

 China purchased eight aircraft in the late 1970s.

Bell 212 is very durable, so it is widely used in civil aviation, commercial, military and other fields, such as the Japanese Coast Guard, the U.S. Fire Department, and the Thai National Police.

 So, the question is, how can Iran have a Bell 212 made in the United States?

 A little bit of history is here.

Although the United States and Iran are currently at odds with each other, during the Cold War, Iran and the United States had a 26-year “honeymoon period” and had a very good relationship.

 How good is it?

 Give two examples.

In 1957, the United States provided Iran with nuclear reactors and nuclear fuel, and later provided weapons-grade enriched uranium.

 Moreover, apart from the United States, the only country that possesses F-14s is Iran.

 In the 1970s, the United States sold a total of 79 F-14As to Iran.

During the Iran-Iraq War, Iran shot down 160 Iraqi fighter jets with F-14s.

 It can be said that the United States was closer to Iran than to Israel at that time.

But in 1979, U.S.-Iran relations took a turn: a revolution broke out in Iran in 1979, overthrowing the pro-American regime.

Among them, the famous Iran hostage crisis broke out in history: 52 American diplomats were held hostage for 444 days.

 The United States and Iran turned against each other, and the United States began to impose lengthy and comprehensive sanctions on Iran.

According to the information currently available, these Bell 212s in Iran were purchased before 1979.

 A little calculation shows that it has a history of at least 45 years!

 Information shows that the Iranian military has 10 Bell 212s.

It is understood that the crashed Bell 212 originally belonged to the Iranian Air Force. It was modified and provided to government departments three years ago.

 The third question: Everyone will have questions: How did the president’s plane crash?

 At present, it is generally believed that the reasons focus on two aspects.

 One is that the weather was very bad and there was heavy fog.

The Bell 212 is designed for flying under visual flight conditions, which means that the pilot must rely entirely on his or her ability to observe the terrain from his seat.

 So, it makes sense that it would be affected by the weather.

 It can be speculated that the situation should be very urgent when the accident occurred.

 Because the plane did not send any distress message at all.

However, the second argument is equally convincing at present, which is related to the factors mentioned in the above part.

 Since 1979, the United States has almost never interrupted sanctions on Iran.

US sanctions cannot bring down a country, but as the most powerful country, they can kick the country out of the world’s mainstream trading system, ultimately making the country weak.

 Like Cuba, that’s what it is.

 Back to Iran.

Because of sanctions, Iran is unable to obtain the necessary parts to maintain the aircraft. To put it bluntly, the aircraft is “in disrepair.”

Just a year ago, Iran’s sports minister was riding in a helicopter when the plane suddenly lost control and crashed. Fortunately, the minister survived, but his chief of staff was killed.

The same goes for civil aviation aircraft. In Iran, there are many passenger aircraft that have been used for 20 or 30 years.

Therefore, there are many aviation accidents in Iran. Since 1979, nearly 2,000 Iranians have died in flight accidents.

Moreover, even if we put aside the issue of not being able to buy parts due to sanctions, Iran does not have extra money to maintain aircraft.

 Like the picture below, which is another helicopter that Leahy was riding in earlier.

 If you take a closer look, you will find that this helicopter is also quite old.

 Of course, there are conspiracy theories surrounding the crash.

There were three senior officials accompanying President Leahy to this event: Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Energy Minister Ali Akbar Mehrabi Ali Akbar Mehrabian, Housing and Transport Minister Mehrdad Bazrpash.

 The accident happened to be President Leahy’s plane.

Also on board the plane were Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdullahian, Governor of Azerbaijan’s Eastern Province Malik Rahmati, a senior religious figure, a pilot, and co-pilot , crew chief, safety director, and a bodyguard.

 The planes of the Ministers of Energy, Housing and Transport returned safely.

In contrast, in the state power system, the role of the president and the foreign minister is more important.

 But it happened that the president and the foreign minister died in the crash.

Moreover, the United States jumped out very actively and said, “There is no evidence that there was foul play in this incident.”

 However, there are also potential suspects:

From a foreign perspective, Iran is inextricably linked to Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthi armed forces in Yemen.

 These organizations are a thorn in the side of the West, especially the United States and Israel.

Just over a month ago, Iran launched dozens of missiles and drones towards Israel.

 President Leahy is another hardliner.

In fact, Azerbaijan, where President Leahy went this time, has always had many conflicts with Iran.

Azerbaijan secretly cooperates with Israel and even allows the Israeli intelligence agency (Mossad) to establish workstations on Azerbaijani soil to monitor Iran.

 Planning assassinations has always been Israel’s strength.

Before the crash, President Leahy happened to participate in activities in the Iran-Azerbaijan border area, and the crash site was not far from Azerbaijan.

From a domestic perspective, Iran is a theocratic country, with President Raisi as the “second in command” and the actual supreme leader being Khamenei.

Khamenei is now 85 years old (born in 1939) and has been in charge of Iran for 35 years. His physical health is not very good.

 Originally, it was generally believed that Leahy was the most promising successor.

 Coincidentally, Khamenei also served as president before becoming supreme leader.

 Therefore, some people may want to take advantage of this opportunity.

 In this crash, there is a bolder guess: maybe the inside should be combined with the outside.

 But these conjectures are just conjectures and there is no evidence.

 In a time of great strife, the truth is confusing.

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