It has been suggested that the French may have played a role in the recent helicopter crash that killed the Iranian president. Hasn't France forgiven Raisi for his rapprochement with Azerbaijan?

20.05.24 22:13

On 19 May 2024, a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and a number of other high-ranking leaders of the state and the province of East Azerbaijan crashed. The helicopter was on its way to Tabriz, a city in the province. In addition to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the following individuals were also on board the helicopter: Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, Governor of East Azerbaijan Province Malik Rahmati, Imam of Tabriz Mosque Sayed Mohammad-Ali al-Hashem, and head of the presidential security unit Seyed Mehdi Mousavi. All the passengers of the helicopter and the crew were killed.


The Iranian president was returning from Azerbaijan, where he had held a meeting with the country's head of state, Ilham Aliyev, earlier in the day. The meeting was timed to coincide with the commissioning of the Khudaferin hydroelectric complex, located on the Araks River, which is regarded as "sacred" by both northern and southern Azerbaijanis on the border of the two states. During the event, Aliyev stated that the meeting would "go down in the history of Iran-Azerbaijan relations". It is noteworthy that during this meeting, Ebrahim Raisi visited Karabakh, which had been liberated by the Azerbaijani army from Armenian occupation. This action caused significant disquiet among Armenian nationalists and their supporters in Paris.


Almost immediately, there were suggestions that the helicopter crash was not an isolated incident and that it may have been caused by a terrorist attack or the helicopter may have been shot down. Many media outlets openly named Israel as the interested party. One hypothesis posited that the cause of the crash was fog and poor visibility.


Nevertheless, it is notable that the crash of the helicopter of the President of Iran has not been linked to the fact that another geopolitical force is "climbing" into the region of the South Caucasus. This is an interesting coincidence, given that Iran became a theocratic country in 1979. The focus of our attention is on France.


In 1979, the leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, flew from Paris on an Air France plane and arrived safely. On the eve of this event, Salome Zurabishvili, an employee of the French Foreign Ministry with no prior public profile, arranged her personal life and married an Iranian citizen of Georgian origin. It is possible that the circumstances were merely coincidental and that the then-young and promising employee of the French Foreign Ministry was simply experiencing a profound personal connection. Alternatively, it may be posited that France decided to adopt a more assertive approach towards Iran, allocating considerable resources to the project of the Islamic Revolution and establishing a network of support for its citizens, including the relatively small Georgian community in Iran.


Following the victory of the Islamic Revolution, France has emerged as a significant and influential force in Iran, according to some sources. This influence is said to be exercised by the French security services. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is a body that can be safely renamed the "Corps of Parisian overseers" of Iran.


In a bid to advance the interests of Armenian nationalists and France, the IRGC has been observed to have taken action in the past year to prevent the dissolution of the separatist entity known as Artsakh. This was evidenced by the IRGC's display of military force in the vicinity of Azerbaijan's borders last year. Furthermore, there have been reports that the IRGC was responsible for the terrorist attack on the Azerbaijani embassy in Tehran on 27 January 2023. Concurrently, the IRGC is adamantly opposed to all transit projects involving Azerbaijan and Turkey, including the Zangezur corridor.


Nevertheless, despite the vehement opposition of the "agents of Paris" to everything Turkic, it is impossible to ignore the fact that over 40% of Azerbaijanis reside in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and that Azerbaijanis occupy a significant number of positions in the country's highest military and political leadership. President Raisi has recently demonstrated a proclivity towards aligning with the "Azerbaijani party." In point of fact, a pro-Azerbaijani group that is opposed to the pro-French group has been established in the highest echelons of power in Iran.


Consequently, a considerable period of time has elapsed since the French secret services assisted in the organisation of the Islamic Revolution. During this period, their Turkophobic project has been unsuccessful. For the Islamic Republic of Iran, participation in transit projects involving Turkey and Azerbaijan appears to be advantageous. This includes the North-South route through Azerbaijan and Russia, rather than the route through Armenia, where France and the IRGC are attempting to exert influence. In addition, the North-South transit route also requires the acquiescence of Georgia.


The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran and his delegation, comprising the majority of whom are ethnic Azeris, are currently returning from a meeting with the president of Azerbaijan, which has been described as "hostile" to France. France was disconcerted to observe that the meeting was conducted in a cordial and amicable atmosphere, a state of affairs that was evidently displeasing to Paris. Consequently, the Iranian president and his accompanying delegation were unable to proceed to Tabriz.


On the same day, information emerged that Salome Zurabishvili, the former employee of the French Foreign Ministry and the current President of Georgia, had extended an invitation to French President Emmanuel Macron to visit Georgia. In order to "find a solution" to the government of her country, which "dared" to defend national interests.


Moreover, at the same time, President Macron dedicated a status in Meta to the situation in Georgia.


"Germany and France are deeply concerned about the situation in Georgia." Both countries have consistently demonstrated their support for Georgia's European integration, with Germany and France actively advocating for the European Council's decision to grant candidate status in December 2023.


We express our profound dismay at the decision of the Government and the ruling party of Georgia to deviate from this path, acting in contravention of our pan-European values and the aspirations of the Georgian people. This is evidenced by the adoption of the so-called "Transparency of Foreign Influence" law.


The European path of Georgia is clearly defined, yet the pace and trajectory of its progress ultimately rests with the country itself. Olaf Scholz and Emmanuel Macron.


It is evident that Macron and Scholz, who have aligned themselves with him, are instructing the Georgian government on the course of action to be pursued, which is to the detriment of Georgia's sovereignty.


The rationale behind Macron's assertion that Georgia cannot be left to its own devices is also apparent. The issue is not about the "European way" or "pan-European values." For France, Georgia is of significant importance as a "corridor" to its "outpost" in the South Caucasus – Armenia, which France is arming and intends to continue arming "through Georgia". Consequently, the fact that Georgia has the audacity to challenge French dominance and consider the interests of its allies and strategic partners, namely Azerbaijan and Turkey, has not been well received by France.


Moreover, France is disinclined to the prospect of unblocking communications and opening the Zangezur corridor, which appears to have already been agreed to by Iranian President Raisi. It has been reported that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was scheduled to visit Armenia on Sunday.


Ebrahim Raisi and Hosein Abdollahian were members of the Iran political faction that advocated for normalizing relations with Azerbaijan. Moreover, it appears that this faction was beholden to France for past services and was disinclined to compromise Iran's national interests (in contrast to the IRGC). Consequently, it is plausible that the French intelligence services may have expedited the process.


The preceding assumption demonstrates the considerable risk that Georgia and its politicians may face due to France's "increased interest" in our country and the entire South Caucasus region. The involvement of significant global forces and the immoral methods employed in this situation are cause for concern.


George Kvinitadze

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