World leaders react to Iranian president's death

Ebrahim Raisi, aged 63, died in helicopter crash while travelling to country's East Azerbaijan province

Reuters May 20, 2024
Ebrahim Raisi gestures after casting his vote during presidential elections at a polling station in Tehran. PHOTO: REUTERS

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, long seen as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was killed in a helicopter crash in mountainous terrain near the Azerbaijan border, officials and state media said on Monday.

The helicopter was also carrying Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six other passengers and crew. Here are reactions to the news:

China's President Xi Jinping

"President Raisi has made important contributions to maintaining Iran's security and stability, promoting national development and prosperity, and also made active efforts to consolidate and develop the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin quoted Xi in a press briefing.

Palestinian Resistance Group Hamas

The statement conveyed by the resistance group said, "Deepest condolences...for this immense loss." It praised the deceased Iranian leaders for supporting the Palestinian cause and resistance against Israel and expressed confidence that Iran's "deep-rooted institutions" will enable it to overcome "the repercussions of this great loss."

Afghanistan's acting Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund

In a statement, "We share in the grief of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its people and extend our condolences to all the families of the victims, the nation, and the government of Iran. "In these difficult times, we stand alongside the people of Iran and pray for forgiveness for all the victims of this incident and for patience for their families."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

"We extend our sincere condolences and sympathy to the brotherly Iranian people for the passing of the late President Ibrahim Raisi and the Foreign Minister, praying to Almighty God to bestow His vast mercy upon the deceased Iranian President and the others, and to grant patience and solace to their families,
affirming the solidarity of the State of Palestine and its people with the Iranian leadership and people in this great affliction."

Russian President Vladimir Putin

"Seyed Ebrahim Raisi was an outstanding politician whose entire life was devoted to serving the Motherland. "As a true friend of Russia, he made an invaluable personal contribution to the development of good neighbourly relations between our countries and made great efforts to bring them to the level of strategic partnership."

Turkish President Tayyib Erdogan

In his statement on X (formerly Twitter), "As a colleague who personally witnessed his efforts for the peace of the Iranian people and our region during his time in power, I remember Mr Raisi with respect and gratitude."

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif

"The great Iranian nation will overcome this tragedy with customary courage. Pakistan will observe a day of mourning and the flag will fly at half mast as a mark of respect for President Raisi and his companions and in solidarity with brotherly Iran."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
"Deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic demise of Dr Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. His contribution to strengthening the India-Iran bilateral relationship will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to his family and the people of Iran. India stands with Iran in this time of sorrow."

President of Iraqi Kurdistan region Nechirvan Barzani

"The passing of President Raisi is an immense tragedy and a profound loss for the Islamic Republic of Iran, its people, and its friends. "Nevertheless, we have faith that the noble people of Iran and the Islamic Republic will overcome this immense loss. May God Almighty provide assistance and protection to all, and may the memory of the departed be blessed."

Arab League Chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit

"We pray to God to shower them with mercy and forgiveness and to inspire their families with patience and solace."

Sudan's Sovereign Council Head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan

"While the President of the Sovereign Council extends his sincere condolences and sympathy to the friendly Iranian people, he prays to God Almighty that he may have mercy on the President and his companions, and grant their families patience and solace, expressing the solidarity of the Government of Sudan and its people with the leadership and the Iranian people in this great loss."

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim

"I had the honour of meeting President Raisi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last November. He exemplified a deep commitment to the welfare of his people and the dignity of his nation, which represents a proud and rich civilisation rooted in the principles of Islam. His dedication to justice, peace, and the uplift of the ummah was truly inspiring. We committed ourselves to bolstering Malaysia-Iran relations, working together for the betterment of our people and the Muslim world. Our pledge will be fulfilled."

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Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni

"I see in these hours that the Iranian authorities are crediting the thesis of the accident and not conspiracy theories. I do not see any changes in the internal order in Iran, we are in constant contact with our European and G7 allies because we are talking about an incident that is part of a particularly complex regional framework. I hope that the future Iranian leadership wants to commit itself to the stabilisation and pacification of the region," he said broadcaster Channel 5.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council

"The European Union expresses its sincere condolences for the death of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Abdollahian, as well as other members of their delegation and crew in a helicopter accident. Our thoughts go to the families," on X.

Japan's Government Spokesperson Yoshimasa Hayashi

Japan expresses its deepest condolences to the government and people of Iran over the death of President Raisi and the foreign minister.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

"...Deeply saddened to have to say goodbye to an exemplary person, an extraordinary leader of the world as our brother Ebrahim is, and will always be, an excellent human being, defender of the sovereignty of his people and unconditional friend of our country. From Bolivarian lands, we express our deepest condolences to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and wish for divine consolation for such a sensitive loss," on X

President-elect of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran Opposition Group Maryam Rajavi

"This represents a monumental and irreparable strategic blow to the mullahs' Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the entire regime, notorious for its executions and massacres. It will trigger a series of repercussions and crises within theocratic tyranny, which will spur rebellious youths into action. The curse of mothers and those seeking justice for the executed, along with the damnation of the Iranian people and history, mark the legacy of Ebrahim Raisi, the notorious perpetrator of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners."

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

"The president of the Arab Republic of Egypt prays that the deceased Iranian President and the departed may rest in God Almighty's mercy, and grant their families patience and solace, expressing the solidarity of the Arab Republic of Egypt with the Iranian leadership and people in this terrible incident."

Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah Group

"It praised the struggle of the martyrs in defending the causes of the nation and their service to Iran, calling on God to bless them with his mercy, to protect Khamenei, and to grant Iran the ability to overcome the ordeal with patience and determination."

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe

"I express my deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to the bereaved families, the government and the people of Iran. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of President Raisi and his entourage."

Jordan's King Abdullah

"My deepest condolences to the brothers, leadership, government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the death of Brother President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Brother Hossein Amir Abdullahian and those accompanying them, may God have mercy on them all. We stand in solidarity with our brothers in Iran in this difficult circumstance," on X.

UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum

"Our hearts are with you in this difficult time. Our prayers are that God will cover them with His vast mercy and dwell them in His spacious Paradise."

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

In a statement of condolence, Assad affirmed Syria's solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the families of the dead, adding that Raisi's dedication to his work and duties had taken him to East Azerbaijan to inaugurate a vital project for his country, where he was martyred in the line of duty.

Assad added that Syria had worked with the late president to ensure strategic ties between Syria and Iran remained prosperous, recalling Raisi's important visit to Syria as part of enhancing ties for the benefit of both nations.

Iraq Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani

"We extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ali Khamenei, and to the nation of Iran, its government and its people. We express our solidarity with the brotherly Iranian people and the officials of the Islamic Republic during this painful tragedy."

Head of Yemen's Houthi Supreme Revolutionary Committee Mohammed Ali al-Houthi

"We ask God to grant their families patience and solace. Verily we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return. The Iranian people will remain adhering to the loyal leaders of their people, by God's will."

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani

"Sincere condolences to the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran...asking God Almighty for mercy and forgiveness for them and for their families with patience and solace. We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return."


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