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IAF Veteran Unveils Top Three Likely Causes for Raisi's Chopper Crash

© POOL / Go to the mediabankRussian President V. Putin attends SCO summit
Russian President V. Putin attends SCO summit - Sputnik India, 1920, 21.05.2024
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Iran's military chief Mohammed Bagheri on Monday ordered a high-level probe into the chopper crash that killed Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Sunday.
Speculation is increasing worldwide regarding the potential involvement of Iran's "arch enemy," Israel, in the crash of Raisi's American-made Bell 212 helicopter in East Azerbaijan province on Sunday.
Israel categorically denied these rumours, as reported by Reuters.
The theory that Israel's spy agency, Mossad, may have been responsible for this deadly incident is supported by the recent upsurge in tensions between Tehran and Tel Aviv. Last month, both countries were engaged in an unprecedented escalation of hostilities, adding fuel to such ongoing speculation that Mossad could have been involved.
Tehran had launched direct aerial strikes into Israeli territory to retaliate against a supposed Israeli missile strike at an Iranian Embassy building in Damascus, which led to the death of senior Iranian generals.
At the time, Israel's Ambassador had told the United Nations (UN) that it reserved the right to retaliate at a "manner and time" of its choosing.
Several Western commentators, including Nick Griffin, a former Member of European Parliament (MEP), has implied Tel Aviv's possible role in the fatal chopper incident involving Raisi.

Veteran Air Marshal M. Matheswaran, a former Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot, told Sputnik India that there could be three possible reasons behind the crash of Bell 212 helicopter carrying Raisi and other senior delegates.

Mechanical Failure
Pilot Error
Sabotage

'Probability of Mechanical Failure or Pilot Error Are Low'

Matheswaran reckoned that prospects of a "mechanical failure" or "pilot error" leading to the chopper crash seemed quite low.
He noted that the three-chopper presidential convoy had to grapple with inclement weather, fog and strong winds all making flying the platform challenging for any pilot in the world.

"If the weather was flyable, the pilot would have taken a 50-50 chance, But, with the President onboard, I am not sure if they would take that chance, unless they had clearance from the highest level. Usually, the President doesn't have any say in these technical decisions," the Indian veteran said.

"It is inconceivable that they didn't factor in safety while transporting the President," he claimed. Furthermore, Matheswaran pointed out that the other two choppers in the convoy had landed smoothly.

'Sabotage Quite Plausible'

The IAF veteran stated that chances of "sabotage" due to geopolitical factors looked higher.
"Threats from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Mossad amid ongoing tensions with Israel create a very volatile security environment," he said.
Matheswaran also expressed surprise over the fact that Tehran would use a Bell 212 chopper, which it first got from the US in the 1970s, to transport the President and his entourage, all highly at-risk individuals.
He said that Iran's aviation platforms, including those for fighter jets and choppers, were relatively "outdated", which was due to decades of crippling US sanctions imposed in the wake of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the hostage crisis at the US Embassy in Tehran which lasted till 1981.

"Since the relations between Iran and US hit rock-bottom, the Americans and Western governments ceased supplies of spares and all modern equipment. There hasn't been any maintenance and logistical support, which is critical to sustain the aviation platforms," he noted.

Matheswaran stated that Tehran hadn't acquired any major aviation platform since the 1970s and was still using American-built F-14 Tomcat fighter jets.

"Iran has developed its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and missile technology programmes quite well, and I am sure that they had avenues to modernise their air fleet with help from China and Russia, which they didn't pursue," the IAF veteran remarked.

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi attends a joint press conference with Turkish president in Ankara, on January 24, 2024.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 20.05.2024
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