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BREAKING UPDATE: Iran’s President Is Definitely Dead (and More Jokes and Reactions)

Pavel Bednyakov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

This is a breaking story, so the 24-hour rule applies: All reports within the first 24 hours are suspect. But we will strive to give you the most accurate information.

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Update: Now we are being told by Iranian state media that he is dead:

From the article:

The helicopter carrying President Raeisi and his accompanying delegation crashed on Sunday in the Dizmar forest, nestled between the cities of Varzaqan and Jolfa in East Azarbaijan Province.

It was transporting Raeisi, Amir-Abdollahian, East Azarbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati, Friday Prayers leader of the city of Tabriz Seyyed Mohammad Ali Al-e Hashem and a member of the president’s bodyguard team Mahdi Mousavi. The helicopter’s pilot, co-pilot and crew were also among others on board the chopper.

President Raeisi and his accompanying delegation were returning from a ceremony to inaugurate a dam on the Aras River with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

Following the announcement of the martyrdom of Raeisi and his team, the cabinet held an emergency session headed by Vice President Mohammad Mokhber.

Martyrdom? By what logic was he a martyr? Well, anyway, that’s about as good as confirmation gets. There are many topics on which Iranian state media would not be trustworthy on, and we suspect they were slow to report on this death, but we don’t doubt any longer the fact of his death.

The rest of the post was written at a time when we felt pretty sure that he was dead but there was a smidgeon of doubt and we will not attempt at this late hour to rewrite it to reflect our new certainty. The rest of this piece will proceed as originally published.

**********

This is an update to a story we wrote about earlier tonight, where we reported on the possible death of the so-called President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi. 

(We say ‘so-called President' because the definition of the term requires that the person be freely and fairly elected. He is no more an actual president than this author is the Queen of England.)

We admitted at the time we didn’t know if he was dead or alive, or if the helicopter technically crashed or had a hard landing. Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian was also on the craft.

But as of now, it looks all but certain that it was definitely a crash, and there were no survivors. We are not quite at 100% certainty, but we are dang close. For instance, Iranian state television says merely there is no sign of survivors.

Which doesn’t completely shut the door on finding survivors, but if we were the type to bet, we wouldn’t bet on it.

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Meanwhile, we are getting reports we can’t confirm that he is definitely dead. First, we have this from Yashar Ali:

The cut off text reads:

Raisi helped to oversee a mass execution of political prisoners in the late 1980s and as president, he escalated enforcement of the hijab law and increased repression against the people of Iran. 

He also links to a source for updates. We would wonder honestly if he has sources of information in Iran that most people do not. So we will take his claim very seriously.

Also this video is reportedly the announcement of his death. 

We can’t verify the video because 1) it's 'Greek' to us, and 2) we have no proof of date, time, etc. We would also note, if it is real that many people will be scared into pretending to mourn him. Don’t assume a person acting like they are sad are doing anything other than just that: Acting.

And this isn’t exactly verified, either, but for what it is worth:

And we are getting this AP report:

The article at the link says:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and others have been found dead at the site of a helicopter crash Monday after an hourslong search through a foggy, mountainous region of the country’s northwest, state media reported. Raisi was 63.

The crash comes as the Middle East remains unsettled by the Israel-Hamas war, during which Raisi under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei launched an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel just last month. Under Raisi, Iran enriched uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels, further escalating tensions with the West as Tehran also supplied bomb-carrying drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine and armed militia groups across the region.

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So with the possibility of issues like translation problems we don’t feel 100% certain, but maybe 99% certain that everyone died.

This author’s policy is never to celebrate the death of a person who is a mere political enemy, but if they are a dictator, terrorist, serial killer, child molester or other similarly monstrous human being, we break out the party hats. We are open to the possibility that that the pilot and other on the flight crew don't deserve to have their deaths celebrated, but as for any official in Iran? Ding dong, the witch is dead! 

Like this author, many people are also celebrating his demise and reminding us who he was:

The cut off text reads:

If Raisi has been eaten alive by wolves while suffering hypothermia, it's still a better fate than he deserves.

Ms. Berg describes herself, in part, as ‘British-Iranian Jewish.’ She seems likely to have family who has suffered under the Iranian regime. She had more:

The cut off text reads:

In addition, the bodyguards and the flight crew were killed.

Jeez, it’s like the infamous ‘Day the Music Died’—meaning the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and ‘The Big Bopper’ J. P. Richardson—only this crash featured thugs. Maybe call it ‘The Day the A—hats Died?’ Just spitballing ideas, here, folks.

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Literally the only word cut off was the word terrorist. She called him a Nazi terrorist.

The cut off text reads:

My mom’s cousin, the Iranian freedom fighter Monireh Bardaran, was a political prisoner at the time and provided her detailed testimony on what she witnessed at the time.

He actually links to where you can read that testimony, if you want to know more about the snake who (apparently) died.

Also, yesterday (our time), we saw this:

And a quick check tells us it is basically morning in Iran. So the prediction that they might announce his death in the morning seems to be accurate. 

The cut off text reads:

... state media just published this video saying these are senior IRGC commanders looking over maps near the crash site to determine how they’re going to proceed.

This looks like a dad looking at a road map after getting lost during a family vacation.

Furthermore, we are being told that Iranians are celebrating in Iran:

And Iranians—probably mainly ex pats—were celebrating via video:

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We have been hearing that song a lot.

Their joy is infectious.

That video actually originally came from another Twitter/X user who posted (according to Google translate): ‘We freely dance and celebrate on your dirty grave.’ Cool. Go on with your bad self.

Ms. Alinejad describes herself as an Iranian Journalist & Activist and so we imagine her feelings on the subject go deep. The cut off text reads:

Why should I hide my feelings while many young Iranians, especially women who have been wounded during uprisings, are sharing videos of dancing in joy over his death? His regime sent killers to New York to assassinate me, but I am alive and writing about his death. 

We Iranians will fight for our freedom, democracy, and dignity until the day we get rid of @khamenei_ir and his religious dictatorship.

She includes some flower emojis surrounding the emoji of a pair of dancing girl emojis. Nice.

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We are legitimately wondering if they are celebrating in any other country, like Saudi Arabia.

They are certainly more impressive than our campus morons protesting in support of the terrorists and rapists in Hamass, who risk little.

And of course, there are the jokes!

Duuuuude. Too soon on the Kobe Bryant reference?

Choices.

The cut off text reads:

This audio is funnier in Persian but the guy is doing an impression of President Raisi’s voice and saying ‘Don’t listen to the rumors, I am alive. I am sitting here with a wolf and we are eating the remains of the foreign minister’s corpse.’

That would be like a stacked memeing.

And while Raisi isn’t mentioned, we have to think this is a reference to the incident:

Any day a tyrant dies is a good one.

Meanwhile, our own Coucy shared this video:

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If it turns out that the video is fake, there is sure to be Fallout. Four times, we have been told not to fake evidence, so we know any such fakery would be taken very seriously.

But if we are going to talk about real evidence and not all fake information, it’s hard to beat this author’s own post, where we managed to snag a screenshot from Raisi’s official account before it was deleted:

Okay, the last two items are pretty clear fakes and for our joke, we have to give credit to commenter ‘North by Northwest.’ In the previous post on this story, he wrote: ‘What did these guys have on Hillary??’ and we were totally inspired by that to create that fake post.

Finally, Jackson Hinkle makes it clear where his allegiance lies.

Please, don't try to make us even happier about his death.

The cut off text reads:

We will never forget the great sacrifices that Iranian President Raisi & Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian gave for the advancements of the Iranian people, Iranian integration into the multipolarity and the heroic resistance against Zionism & US imperialism.

May God bless their souls & all lives lost. I pray for the Iranian people tonight.

So, yeah, basically he is on the other side. He’s free to be a voluntary Tokyo Rose, but know what you are dealing with. He mourns the death of a tyrant while people who actually care for ordinary Iranians celebrate. It says everything about him.

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