Former Iranian Foreign Minister Blames US Sanctions For Raisi Chopper Crash

Irans former Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Former Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has blamed the United States for the helicopter crash that killed President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials on Sunday.

In a state television interview, Zarif directly linked the crash to US sanctions on Iran, which restrict access to modern aviation parts.

“One of the culprits behind yesterday’s tragedy is the United States, because of its sanctions that bar Iran from procuring essential aviation parts,” Zarif asserted during the interview.

Iran’s growing alignment with Russia and China raises questions about its continued use of aging American helicopters like the Bell 212, which was involved in the crash.

The Bell 212, a civilian version of the Vietnam War-era UH-1N “Twin Huey,” reportedly went down in heavy fog while flying through mountainous terrain.

Despite US sanctions, Iran maintains a robust domestic arms industry. They manufacture and supply advanced missiles and drones to their own armed forces, regional proxies, and even Russia. Groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, and Iran’s Quds Force possess sophisticated long-range weaponry.