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Putin ally Belarus President Lukashenko blames US sanctions for Iran’s Raisi’s death: ‘They banned companies from…’

Even though Iran has denied any foul play in Ebrahim Raisi’s helicopter crash, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has blamed western sanctions as one of the reasons for Iran president’s death.

Lukashenko, a close ally of Russian President, made remarks in a joint press conference with Vladimir Putin.

Raisi (63) died on May 19 as his helicopter caught fire after hitting an elevated area in the country’s mountainous northwest. He was laid to rest in his hometown of Mashhad on Thursday.

“As a person, and not as a president, I will say that the vile, disgusting position of the United States led to this,” reported Almayadeen quoting Alexander Lukashenko.

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

Also Read: What’s on horizon for Iran’s government after Ebrahim Raisi’s death?

Alexander Lukashenko also said that it does not matter whether this helicopter has been in operation for 40 or 50 years. “Maybe it has been used three times only in these fifty years, it would be fine if properly serviced – but they forbade their companies as well to maintain it. Therefore, this is also their fault. They forbade servicing that helicopter. That’s true,” Belarus Today reported Lukashenko as saying.

Meanwhile, a preliminary report by the general staff of the armed forces, published by the official IRNA news agency late on Thursday said that no bullet holes or similar impacts were observed on the helicopter wreckage, reported AFP.

The army said “more time is needed” to investigate the crash and that it would announce more details later.

Also Read: Ebrahim Raisi dies in helicopter crash: What does Iranian President’s death mean for India-Iran ties?

What preliminary report said

– No suspicious content was observed during the communications between the watch tower and the flight crew.

– Raisi’s helicopter had been flying on a “pre-planned route and did not leave the designated flight path” before the crash.

Also Read: Ebrahim Raisi ‘assassinated’? Many suspect Israel’s role behind the Iranian President’s death, officials clarify

– The wreckage of the helicopter had been found by Iranian drones early on Monday but the “complexity of the area, fog and low temperature” hindered the work of search and rescue teams.

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Published: 25 May 2024, 03:03 PM IST