Saturday 25 May 2024 - 10:34

US to Blame for Iranian President Helicopter Crash: Belarus President

Story Code : 1137459
US to Blame for Iranian President Helicopter Crash: Belarus President
Iranian President Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian were among those killed on Monday when their Bell helicopter crashed in the mountains in northwest of the country. 

“As a person, and not as a president, I will say that the vile, disgusting position of the United States led to this,” Lukashenko said on Friday at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Minsk. 

“I mean, first of all, the sanctions. These scoundrels had no right to impose sanctions against ships, against planes, helicopters that transport people,” Lukashenko added. “They banned their companies from servicing [Raisi’s helicopter]. Therefore, this is also their fault.”

Lukashenko also noted that the US has sanctioned his own presidential airplane.

Putin, who was visiting Minsk to discuss nuclear drills and other key issues, noted that the two other helicopters in the Iranian convoy were of Russian manufacture.

“Russian-made helicopters flew without any special difficulties in the same conditions, in the same corridor, in fact, without any problems,” RT cited Putin. 

Tehran has yet to ascertain the cause of Monday’s crash. Preliminary results released by the Iranian military on Thursday said that the helicopter never deviated from its flight path. The presidential aircraft crashed onto a mountainside and caught fire, according to the report. No shrapnel or bullet marks were found on the remains of the chassis, discounting rumors that the helicopter may have been shot down.

Lukashenko expressed hope that Iran will “figure out what happened there,” describing Raisi as “a normal, kind person who conducted a frank, honest dialogue, was concerned about the development of his own state and protecting the interests of his own people.” 

Iran's aviation sector had been under strict US sanctions for decades and the country has several times witnessed fatal incidents that are blamed on the US denying spare parts to the planes. Nuclear deal of 2015 gave Iran some access to planes manufacturers, but Trump’s withdrawal soon revoked deals with Boeing and Airbus.