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US blames Iran for using 45 years old helicopter that crashed on Sunday

The United States administration has attributed the crash of an over 40-year-old helicopter, which resulted in the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and six other passengers and crew on Sunday, to the Iranian government’s decision to use such an aged aircraft.

In response to a query at the weekly press briefing on Monday, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller stated, “First of all, we are not going to apologize for our sanctions regime. The Iranian Government has used its aircraft to transport equipment to support terrorism.”

When asked about former Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s claim that US sanctions were partly responsible for the crash, Miller said, “We will continue to fully enforce our sanctions regime, including sanctions on aircraft used by the Iranian Government. Ultimately, it’s the Iranian Government that is responsible for the decision to fly a 45-year-old helicopter in poor weather conditions, not any other actor.”

Raisi, a hardliner considered a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, died in a helicopter crash in mountainous terrain near the Azerbaijan border. Officials and state media reported the charred wreckage was found early Monday after an overnight search in blizzard conditions.

When asked about the US decision to observe a moment of silence for President Raisi at the UN Security Council, Miller expressed the administration’s regret for any loss of life.

“We don’t want to see anyone die in a helicopter crash. But that doesn’t change the reality of his record both as a judge and as the president of Iran, and the fact that he has blood on his hands,” Miller said, adding that the US government would continue to support the people of Iran and confront the Iranian regime’s support for “terrorism and its proliferation of dangerous weapons.”

Miller acknowledged that the Iranian government had requested assistance, but noted that the US responded as it would to any foreign government in such situations, ultimately being unable to provide assistance.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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