Russia salutes the memory of a “true friend”; Lebanon declares three days of mourning

Russia salutes the memory of a “true friend”; Lebanon declares three days of mourning
Russia salutes the memory of a “true friend”; Lebanon declares three days of mourning

Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi died in a helicopter accident in north-west Iran, the Iranian government, a major player in the Middle East, announced on Monday May 20. The president’s helicopter disappeared early Sunday afternoon while flying over a steep, forested region of Iran in difficult weather conditions with rain and thick fog.

Upon the announcement of the disappearance of the helicopter, which was also transporting the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, countries expressed their concern and offered their help to participate in the rescue operations, such as Russia, Iraq , Qatar, Saudi Arabia and or the European Union (EU), which had “activated its mapping service”.

Since the official announcement of the death of Ebrahim Raïssi, and eight other occupants, condolences and tributes have multiplied. Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed a “remarkable politician” and one ” real friend “ of Russia [ayant] made an invaluable personal contribution to the development of relationships (…) between our countries and has made great efforts to bring them to the level of strategic partnership”in a press release.

Chinese President Xi Jinping described the death of President Ebrahim Raïssi as “tragic” and of “great loss for the Iranian people”, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. “ The Chinese people [a] lost a good friend »ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a press conference.

“Protector of resistance movements”

Lebanese Hezbollah, supported by Tehran, described Ebrahim Raïssi as “protector of resistance movements” against Israel in the region. “The martyred president was a big brother for us, a solid support”, affirmed the armed Shiite movement which fights Israel from southern Lebanon. He also paid tribute to the head of Iranian diplomacy who died in the accident, Hossein Amir Abdollahian.

Same tribute for Hamas which presented its “condolences” to the Iranian people and greeted “support for Palestinian resistance and incessant solidarity efforts”. Iran had described “proud operation” accompanied by “spectacular victories” the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, causing the ongoing war in Gaza. Hossein Amir Abdollahian had increased his trips to the region, notably to Lebanon, which proclaimed an official three-day mourning period, and to Syria.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad offered his condolences, proclaiming his “solidarity” with Tehran which has supported him since the start of the civil war in his country. “We worked with the late president to ensure that the strategic relations between Syria and Iran remained prosperous”he added.

Turkey “shares the pain of the friendly and brotherly Iranian people”

For neighboring Pakistan, Islamabad has decreed “a day of mourning and the flag will be at half mast” in “solidarity with Iran”country ” brother “wrote Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on X. “The immense Iranian nation will overcome this tragedy with its usual courage”he added, while the country had welcomed the Iranian leader with great fanfare at the end of April.

For his part, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared himself “deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic disappearance” by Ebrahim Raïssi, while the two countries maintain close relations: the Islamic Republic having been the main supplier of oil to India, until American sanctions reduced trade.

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Turkey “shares the pain of the Iranian people, friend and brother”, declared Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan. As for Iraq, its Prime Minister Mohammed Chia Al-Soudani presented his “ sympathy to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ali Khamenei, as well as to the Iranian nation (…) And [sa] solidarity (…) in this painful tragedy”. Hachd Al-Chaabi, a coalition of pro-Iran Iraqi armed groups, stressed that President Raïssi “had always declared that Iraq and Iran formed one people which cannot be separated”.

Soberly, “Expresses its sincere condolences for the death of President Raïssi and Foreign Minister Abdollahian, as well as other members of their delegation and crew, in a helicopter accident. Our thoughts are with the families.”

Read also | Article reserved for our subscribers Ebrahim Raïssi, the Iranian president who was tipped to succeed the Supreme Guide, is dead

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