Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot
Raisi’s crashed helicopter, May 20, 2024.

The Telegraph Defense and Foreign Affairs Editor Con Coughlin, on Sunday, reported that “The rotten Iranian regime is on the edge of collapse,” and suggested that “Instead of appeasing its leaders, the West should be helping to bring about its downfall.”

Iran’s leadership places blame for the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of President Raisi, the foreign minister, and six others not on any failings in aircraft operations or maintenance, but on the West and its sanctions, notes Coughlin. These economic restrictions, they argue, have cruelly denied Tehran the ability to procure the necessary aviation parts to properly maintain the US-made Bell 212 helicopter in which the Iranian president met his untimely demise. This deflection of responsibility reveals the warped perspective through which Iran’s rulers view such catastrophic events.


“It’s hard not to see the death of Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash last week as a reflection of the Islamic Republic’s institutional decrepitude. As is generally the case when the mullahs find themselves under pressure, their default position is to blame the West,” Coughlin writes.

And so, as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s portrayal of “business as usual” rings increasingly hollow, the regime’s glaring inability to ensure even the basic security of its highest elected official lays bare the stark reality facing Iranians, rapidly solidifying the perception of a government in terminal decline.

The mullahs’ faltering grip on power is becoming more apparent with each such incident that exposes their diminishing control and competence. As this pivotal event casts further doubt on the regime’s viability, the Iranian people’s eroding confidence in their leaders’ capacity to govern effectively only intensifies.

The regime’s fundamental fragility has not escaped the notice of ordinary Iranians, who have increasingly voiced their discontent through widespread protests, argues Coughlin. Denied a legitimate avenue to register their contempt for the leadership at the ballot box, the citizens have sustained a constant wave of anti-government demonstrations, braving the wrath of Iranian security forces. The regime’s desperation to suppress this simmering unrest is palpable, as executions have soared to record levels. Protesters, bloggers, and notable dissidents face death sentences under the catchall charge of “enmity against God” – a measure of the extremes to which the authorities will go to quell dissent.

The people’s defiance, undeterred by the brutal crackdowns, underscores the depths of their disillusionment with the ruling establishment. Despite the risks, Iranians continue to take to the streets, their relentless demonstrations a resounding rejection of the regime’s legitimacy and an expression of their unwavering demand for change. As the chasm between the populace and their leaders widens, the regime’s tenuous grip on power is laid bare, fueling escalating unrest that poses an existential threat to the once-formidable revolutionary government.

Coughlin concludes: “Rather than virtue-signaling their remorse, as the UN Security Council did by observing a moment of silence in honor of one of Iran’s most notorious killers, the West should be doing its level best to highlight the fact the regime’s days are numbered.”

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