'Terrible loss': World leaders react to Iranian president's death

UAE president expresses solidarity with Iranians; Russian FM terms Raisi "reliable friend"

Web Desk
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi looks on during a meeting in Minab, Iran on February 2, 2024. — Reuters
  • Russian FM remembers President Raisi as "reliable friend of Russia".
  • PM Modi hails Iranian president for strengthening bilateral relations.
  • UAE president express solidarity with people of Iran in difficult time.

World leaders have conveyed condolences to the people of Iran after the Iranian government confirmed the death of President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials in a helicopter crash.

President Raisi, Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian and other high officials were returning after attending an inauguration ceremony of a dam on Iran’s border with the Republic of Azerbaijan when the chopper crashed while flying through a mountainous terrain amid heavy fog in the Varzaqan region of the country's East Azerbaijan province on Sunday afternoon.

Iran's Vice President Mohsen Mansouri Monday confirmed Raisi's death in a statement on social media and on state television.

According to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), East Azarbaijan Province’s Governor Malek Rahmati, and Mehdi Mousavi, the head of Raisi’s guard team were on board the crashed aircraft as well.

A large-scale search and rescue operation in the fog-shrouded mountain area of East Azerbaijan province was launched and the search teams located the wreckage on Monday morning. 

Reacting to the fatal accident, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: ""As a true friend of Russia, he [Raisi] 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."

Expressing his views on the grim news, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed Beijing's deep condolences to Tehran.

Recalling China's assistance in the rescue operation FM YI reaffirmed his country's continued support for Iran.

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan remembered Raisi with respect and gratitude saying that he personally witnessed the Iranian president's efforts for the peace of the Iranian people and our region during his time in power.

— X/@RTErdogan

 Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim said: "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," Ibrahima added.

— Facebook/Anwar Ibrahim

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamin Bin Hamad Al Thani said: "Sincere condolences to the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the death of President Raisi, FM Abdullahian, and the accompanying officials in the painful helicopter accident".


Expressing her views, Italy's PM Georgia Meloni said: "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."

Meanwhile, President European Council Charles Michel also expressed sincere condolence and said: "Our thoughts go to the families".

Expressing shock and sadness on the tragic demise of President Raisi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: "His contribution to strengthening 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."

— X/@narendramodi

Furthermore, United Arab Emirates (UAE) President and Abu Dhabi's ruler Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan "extended deepest condolences to the Iranian government and people," over the fatal accident.

"We pray that God grants them eternal rest and we extend our heartfelt sympathies to their families. The UAE stands in solidarity with Iran at this difficult time," he said in a statement on X.

— X/@MohamedBinZayed

Conveying sincere sympathy with the Iranian people, UAE's Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum reaffirmed the gulf country's support to Tehran.

— X/@HHShkMohd

Iraq's Prime Minister also expressed profound sadness and deep sorrow over the tragic accident.

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

Jordan's King Abdullah took to X to express solidarity with the people of Iran.

"My deepest condolences to the brothers, leadership, government and people of Iran [...] we stand in solidarity with our brothers in this difficult circumstance," he said.

— X/@KingAbdullahII

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has announced a day of mourning to honour the deaths of President Raisi and other Iranian officials.

"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," PM Shehbaz said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

"I along with the government and people of Pakistan extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to the Iranian nation on this terrible loss," the premier said while praying for the martyred souls.

— X/@CMShehbaz

In a statement, head of Yemen's Houthis Supreme Revolutionary Committee Mohammad Ali Al Houthi said: "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."

— X/@Moh_Alhouthi

Additionally, Palestinian resistance group Hamas also expressed its condolences and praised the deceased Iranian president for their support of the Palestinian cause and expressed confidence that Iran's "deep-rooted institutions" will enable it to overcome "the repercussions of this great loss."