Old footage of Iranian President Raisi shared as ‘minutes' before his fatal helicopter crash

By: Ankita Kulkarni
May 20 2024

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Old footage of Iranian President Raisi shared as ‘minutes' before his fatal helicopter crash

Screenshot of social media posts claiming that the visuals were captured 'minutes before' Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s helicopter crashed. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

While one viral video is from January, the other clip dates back to at least 2021. The videos are old and unrelated to Raisi's fatal helicopter crash.

Claim ID aff17787

What is the claim?

Two videos (archived here and here), one showing Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi sitting inside an aircraft and the other in a car, are circulating on social media platforms, claiming that they were captured "minutes before" his helicopter crashed on May 19.

Ebrahim Raisi and Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six other passengers and crew were killed in the helicopter crash near the Iranian-Azerbaijan border. The charred wreckage of the chopper was found on May 20 following an overnight search. Raisi was at the Azerbaijan border to inaugurate the Giz-Galasi (also spelled Qiz-Qalasi) hydroelectric complex on the Araz River along with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev.

Some posts sharing the viral clips, claiming they showed scenes from inside the helicopter Raisi was in "shortly before" the aerial vehicle crashed, have raked in hundreds of thousands of views.

Screenshots of viral posts circulating online. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, Logically Facts found that the now-viral videos are old and do not show "minutes before" Raisi's helicopter crash.

How did we find the truth?

We broke down the two videos into keyframes and ran them through a Google reverse image search for more details and established that both of them are unrelated to Raisi's fatal accident.

Video 1

A 1:19 minute-long video (archived here) shared on X (formerly Twitter) shows Raisi sitting inside a chopper looking down the window. As the video progresses, we can also see snow-covered mountain ranges below. The video was shared with the caption, "Video footage shows Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi on board the helicopter shortly before it made a hard landing in mountainous terrain due to foggy conditions in East Azerbaijan province." The video garnered 134,400 on the microblogging platform at the time of writing this story. Several other users have also widely shared the video with similar claims, and the archived versions of such claims can be viewed here and here

Screenshot of a post sharing the viral video. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts) 

Where is this video from?

We found that the same video was shared on X (archived here) by IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency), Iran's official news agency, on January 18. The caption, written in Persian, roughly translates to, "This morning, the President's aerial visit to the Nemroud Dam in Firouzkoh city." Raisi can be seen in the same attire as in the viral video. The IRNA logo can also be spotted at the bottom left corner of the viral clip. 

A Google search led us to a report published by the Public Relations Office of Khatam al-Anbia Construction Base, which noted that Raisi visited the national project of Nemroud Reservoir Dam, accompanied by the Minister of Energy and the Governor of Tehran in Firouzkoh City earlier this year in January. Raisi's visit to the dam was also reported by INS (Iranian Students' News Agency), providing similar details. 

Furthermore, according to a report by AP News, Iranian state TV had telecasted the video of Raisi's recent visit to the Azerbaijan border, and the visuals did not show any snow-covered regions. In fact, according to the broadcast, the aerial footage of the area Rasisi was out to visit showed much green cover and a river running across it. This establishes that the viral clip was captured in a different region and is not very recent.

 Video 2

Another six-second clip (archived here) is also being shared with similar claims, alleging that it shows Raisi's last "five minutes" before the helicopter crash. The video shows him sitting inside a car. In one post, the video was shared with the caption, "The Iranian president before he was killed. In five minutes," and gained over 49,300 views. Other archived versions of similar posts can be viewed here and here.

A viral post sharing the other video. (Source: X/Screesnshot/Modified by Logically Facts) 

When and where was this clip shot?

The exact video was posted to Instagram (archived here) by the account 'boumehen1' on October 4, 2021, with the caption, "Raisi addressing the driver of his car during the trip to the villages of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad: Why do you do this to people? Do this to people one more time, I will sit behind the wheel myself (roughly translated from Persian)!"

We also found the same video posted by Donya-e-Eqtesad, an Iranian daily newspaper. The caption is also the same as the Instagram post, noting that the video was captured during Raisi's visit to the Iranian provinces of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad in 2021. 

All of this establishes the clip was not captured shortly before Raisi's death.

The verdict 

Old videos, one from 2021 and another from January 2024, are being shared with the false claim that they show the "minutes before" Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's helicopter crash. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false. 

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