2022 image shared as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi 'surviving' helicopter crash

By: Rohith Gutta
May 20 2024

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2022 image shared as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi 'surviving' helicopter crash

Screenshot of the social media post claiming that the Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, 'survived' the chopper crash (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

This photograph, taken in 2022, shows President Ebrahim Raisi visiting the city of Firuzkuh in Iran after massive flooding in the region.

Claim ID 9aa55040

What is the claim?

News recently broke about a helicopter crash in Iran's East Azerbaijan province, which resulted in the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. Amid this, a photo began circulating on social media, allegedly showing Raisi disembarking from a helicopter, leading to claims that he had survived the crash that occurred on May 19, 2024.

These posts suggested that this photo was evidence of his survival. At the time of the crash, Raisi and other officials were returning from the inauguration of the Qiz-Qalasi dam over the Aras River, a joint project between Iran and Azerbaijan.

The circulated photo depicts Raisi and several others exiting a white-and-red helicopter bearing the logo of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS). According to the IRCS website, it is an independent National Humanitarian Society of Iran. Archives of these posts can be accessed here and here

Screenshot of the viral social media post (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this image is not from the recent crash but dates back to 2022.

What did we find?

We conducted a reverse image search of the alleged photo, which led us to the same image uploaded on Alamy, a stock photography agency, in July 2022. The image description reads, "Firuzkuh, Tehran, Iran. 31st July, 2022. A handout photo made available by the Iranian Presidential Office shows Iranian President EBRAHIM RAISI visiting Firuzkuh after floods. According to the Iranian Red Crescent Society quoting local officials, at least 56 people have died and 18 are missing in recent floods in most cities of Iran."

The photograph is credited to the Iranian Presidency. A report in France 24 states that week-long flooding in Firuzkuh in July 2022 resulted in at least 80 fatalities.

Screenshot of the photo uploaded on the Alamy website (Source: Alamy)

Additionally, photos provided by the Iranian state media and published by Al Jazeera show the tail of the crashed helicopter as white and blue. In contrast, the helicopter in the viral photo is white-and-red, identified as a Bell 212 model manufactured by Bell Helicopters in a Reuters report.

Comparison between the helicopters from 2022 and 2024 (Source: X/Al Jazeera/Alamy)

It's important to note that, according to recent reports, there were no survivors in the helicopter crash. Reuters reports that the helicopter was carrying President Raisi, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and six other passengers and crew when it crashed due to heavy fog and adverse weather conditions, as reported by the BBC. The report also states that Raisi’s funeral will take place on Tuesday, May 21, in Tabriz.

From this evidence, it's clear that the circulated image of the late Ebrahim Raisi post-crash is outdated.

The verdict

An old image of the late Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian President, has been shared with the false claim that it shows him disembarking a helicopter after a crash, suggesting that he is safe and alive. We have, therefore, marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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