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World

World leaders mourn Ebrahim Raisi death

Published May 20, 2024
A woman reads a newspaper with a front-page report on the crash of the Iranian president’s helicopter outside a kiosk in Tehran on May 20, 2024. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was declared dead on May 20 after rescue teams found his crashed helicopter in a fog-shrouded western mountain region, sparking mourning in the Islamic republic. Photo: AFP
A woman reads a newspaper with a front-page report on the crash of the Iranian president’s helicopter outside a kiosk in Tehran on May 20, 2024. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was declared dead on May 20 after rescue teams found his crashed helicopter in a fog-shrouded western mountain region, sparking mourning in the Islamic republic. Photo: AFP

World leaders expressed sorrow over the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials in a helicopter crash.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said Monday he was “deeply saddened” by the death of Raisi and other officials in a helicopter crash, noting their shared commitment to strengthening ties.

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and several other officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said in a statement on social media.

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“We committed ourselves to bolstering Malaysia-Iran relations, working together for the betterment of our peoples and the Muslim world. Our pledge will be fulfilled.”

Anwar previously defended Iran’s unprecedented missile and drone attack on Israel in April as “legitimate”.

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South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, who recently invited Iran to join the BRICS group, expressed deep regret Monday over the death of President Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash.

“This is an extraordinary, unthinkable tragedy that has claimed a remarkable leader of a nation with whom South Africa enjoys strong bilateral relations,” Ramaphosa said.

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Ramaphosa visited Iran as deputy president in 2015 and in 2023 welcomed Raisi to a summit of the BRICS group in Johannesburg, where the Islamic republic was formally invited to join.

China’s President Xi Jinping said Monday that the “tragic death” of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash was “a great loss to the Iranian people”, according to Beijing’s foreign ministry.

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“President Xi Jinping pointed out… His tragic death is a great loss to the Iranian people, and the Chinese people have lost a good friend,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference.

Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi extended his condolences for the deaths of Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi and foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

“Egypt mourns, with great sadness and grief” the Iranian president and Tehran’s top diplomat, “who passed away on Sunday following a painful accident,” the presidency said in a statement on Monday.

Sisi, who has drawn closer to normalising relations with regional powerhouse Iran in recent years, extended “his sincere condolences and sympathy” to the Iranian people.

He also expressed Cairo’s “solidarity with the leadership and people of Iran in this terrible loss”.

Turkiye on Monday said it was “deeply saddened” by the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash.

Turkiye “shares the pain of the friendly and brotherly Iranian people,” Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said.

“I pray for God’s mercy for my dear collague and brother,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on X, the former Twitter, expressing his “sincere condolences to the friendly and fraternal people and government in particular to the religious head of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Khamenei”.

Meanwhile, Hamas on Monday expressed its condolences for Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi’s death, mourning in a statement an “honourable supporter” of the Palestinian group.

Hamas said it appreciated Raisi’s “support for the Palestinian resistance, and tireless efforts in solidarity” with Palestinians.

The Hamas group said it appreciated Raisi and Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who was also killed in the Sunday crash, for their “intense political and diplomatic efforts to stop the Zionist (Israeli) aggression against our Palestinian people”.

Similarly, Lebanon’s Tehran-backed Hezbollah group mourned the death of Iranian President, praising him as a “protector” of anti-Israel groups in the region.

“Hezbollah in Lebanon extends its deepest condolences,” the group said in a statement, adding that they knew Raisi “closely for a long time” and that he was “a strong supporter, and a staunch defender of our causes… and a protector of the resistance movements”.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad expressed solidarity Monday with close ally Tehran.

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Assad “affirmed Syria’s solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Iran and with the families of the late deceased and his comrades,” the Syrian presidency said in a statement, adding: “We worked with the late President to ensure that strategic relations between Syria and Iran flourish always”.

The European Union also expressed its “sincere condolences” over the death of Iran’s President.

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“Our thoughts go to the families,” EU council president Charles Michel said in a statement.

Iran’s Gulf neighbours the United Arab Emirates and Qatar expressed their condolences.

The oil-rich UAE, which has mended ties with Tehran after years of rift, “stands in solidarity with Iran at this difficult time”, said Emirati President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the Iranian government and people over the passing of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and those accompanying them following a tragic accident,” Sheikh Mohammed posted on social media platform X.

In another statement on X, Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, called the news “painful”, expressing his “sincere condolences to the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

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Az_Iz May 20, 2024 04:51pm
Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Rajioon.
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