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Europe extends condolences over Iran President's death

May 20, 2024 at 2:04 pm

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi meets with Ilham Aliyev (not seen) as he attends an inauguration ceremony of the Qiz Qalasi Dam, constructed on the Aras River on the joint borders between Iran and Azerbaijan in Jabrayil district of Azerbaijan on 19 May 2024. [Iranian Presidency – Anadolu Agency]

European leaders and officials, on Monday, expressed condolences over the death of Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, and other officials in a helicopter crash on Sunday, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The EU 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,” European Council President, Charles Michel, wrote on X.

Foreign Policy chief, Josep Borrell’s office also issued a statement that read: “The European Union offers its condolences for the death of President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdollahian and other Iranian officials involved in the tragic helicopter crash on Sunday. The EU expresses its sympathies to the families of all the victims and to the Iranian citizens affected.”

Italy’s Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, expressed solidarity with the Iranian government and people, according to the Italian news agency, ANSA. Meloni added that she foresaw no “major changes” in Iran’s internal structure for now.

The French Foreign Ministry also extended its condolences on the deaths, sending “thoughts to the victims’ families”.

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World Health Organisation (WHO) chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on X: “We express our condolences to the people of #Iran and the families of the late President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-abdollahian, and all those who lost their lives in the helicopter crash yesterday.”

Switzerland’s Foreign Minister, Ignazio Cassis, also wrote on X to express his condolences.

“In light of the helicopter accident that claimed the lives of President Ebrahim Raisi, my counterpart FM @Amirabdolahian, and their accompanying delegations, I extend my condolences to the families of all the victims and to the Iranian citizens affected,” he wrote.

After a night long search operation hampered by bad weather, Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian, and other top officials were declared dead on Monday morning.

Dozens of emergency rescue teams were dispatched to the mountainous area in north-western Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, where the accident occurred Sunday afternoon.

According to the Iranian Constitution, First Vice-President, Mohammad Mokhber, will assume powers of the presidency, and elections be held within 50 days.