Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was reported to have died on May 20 following a helicopter crash in a remote mountainside during heavy fog. However, the photos circulating on social media worldwide, purported to be of the wreckage of the crashed helicopter, actually depict a different incident. These images were previously published in Iranian news reports in 2020, depicting a police training plane crash in Mazandaran province.

A Thai Facebook post shared the photos with a caption stating, 'Wreckage of the helicopter of the Iranian president and his delegation.' The pictures depict rescue workers in a forest near aircraft debris bearing the number '1136' on the wing. These photos appeared in various Facebook posts worldwide, including in English, Bengali, Burmese, Greek, Hindi, and Malay.

Among the casualties of the helicopter crash were Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, recognized for his strong anti-Israel stance and skepticism of the West.

A search using a keyword on Google revealed that these photos were originally posted on Instagram on April 23, 2020 by Iran's judiciary-linked Mizan news agency. According to the post, the wreckage was discovered in Mazandaran province in northern Iran.

Screenshots of the false Facebook posts (left) and Mizan's photos (right) are displayed below:

A photo similar to those in the false reports was featured in Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) report about a police training plane crash in Mazandaran due to adverse weather conditions. The IRNA report displays a photo of a plane wing with the number '1136,' which matches the number visible on the aircraft in Mizan's photos. Another image of plane wreckage, incorrectly linked to Raisi's death in some posts, also appeared in Mizan's Instagram post.

Additional posts showed a photo of a blue and white helicopter on grassland, which was included in news reports about Raisi's crash by outlets such as Euro News, Iran's Mehr News Agency, and Azad News Agency (ANA). While the authenticity of this image could not be immediately verified, AFP published a similar picture depicting the location of the helicopter wreckage.