US Expresses Condolences on Death of President Raisi

Tue May 21 2024
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WASHINGTON: The United States on Monday expressed condolences on the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials in a helicopter crash, the State Department said in a statement.

“The United States expresses its official condolences for the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian, and other members of their delegation in a helicopter crash in northwest Iran,” department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

“As Iran selects a new president, we reaffirm our support for the Iranian people and their struggle for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” said the statement.

Earlier US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he did not have insight into the reason for the helicopter crash that killed President Raisi, adding that he did not necessarily see any broader impact of the incident on regional security.

The reporters sharply questioned Matthew Miller at his daily briefing over the statement, which has his name and was released minutes before the briefing took place.

In his response, Miller noted that the US had made similar statements after the deaths of other leaders.

He also insisted that the statement does not undermine the State Department’s criticism of the Iranian government on issues of human rights and US opposition to Iranian support for different groups across the Middle East.

Iranian authorities on Monday announced that the funeral for President Raisi would be held in Tehran on Wednesday, following his tragic death in a helicopter crash.

Khamenei announces five days of mourning

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday declared five days of mourning on the tragic helicopter crash resulting in the killing of President Ebrahim Raisi and his accompanying delegation.

In accordance with constitutional protocol, Ayatollah Khamenei has appointed First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber as the acting president of Iran.

The incident occurred late Sunday night, claiming the lives of President Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and several other officials. The helicopter was also carrying the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, other officials and bodyguards.

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The crash site, nestled in a foggy, mountainous region, was discovered after an exhaustive search effort. The loss of Raisi, a prominent figure in Iranian politics at the age of 63, has left the nation reeling.

The cabinet of Iran has appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani as the acting foreign minister of the country, ensuring continuity in diplomatic affairs during this challenging time.

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