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EU Commissioner defends aiding search for crashed Iranian helicopter

Brussels : EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, on Monday defended the EU’s decision to provide satellite mapping to assist in the search for the crash site of a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

Providing satellite mapping services “upon request for facilitating a search and rescue operation is not an act of political support to any regime or establishment”, Lenarcic posted on X.

“It is simply an expression of the most basic humanity,” he added.

The Iranian President Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian were among the nine people who died after their helicopter crashed in the country’s mountainous north-west region due to bad weather, state media reported on Monday.

After Tehran requested help for searching the crash site, the European Union offered the use of satellite mapping services from the bloc’s space programme used for monitoring the Earth.

Lenarcic announced the decision on X on Sunday evening using the hashtag ‘EUSolidarity’, which drew criticism and accusations of sympathy for the Iranian government.

As a leading figure of the regime, Raisi was accused of serious human rights violations, especially in the wake of the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini while in custody of the religious police. Her death sparked mass street protests that were violently crushed by the security forces.

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