Skip to content

Raisi commended as "impressive political figure" by Putin.

The European Union responds cautiously.

Raisi visited Russia's head of state Putin (left) in Moscow in December.
Raisi visited Russia's head of state Putin (left) in Moscow in December.

Raisi commended as "impressive political figure" by Putin.

The Iranian leader Ebrahim Raisi perished in a helicopter crash. Countless friendly countries and allies conveyed their condolences. The EU's Council President Michel was notably business-like.

Russian President Vladimir Putin commemorated Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who lost his life in a helicopter crash in Iran, as a "remarkable" politician and a "true friend of Russia." According to Putin's message on the Kremlin website, Raisi represented an "unsubstitutable loss." The statement noted that Raisi had made "an incredible impact" on shaping harmonious neighborly ties. Tehran had provided Moscow with armaments and ammunition for the war in Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov characterized Raisi and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, also deceased in the crash, as "reliable friends" of Russia. They had "fervently protected" their country's interests, proclaimed Lavrov.

Chinese President Xi Jinping grieved over the "heart-wrenching death" and "monumental loss" for the Iranian people. The Chinese influencers lost "a reliable friend," revealed Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.

The militant Islamic Palestinian group Hamas recognized Raisi's assistance in the fight against Israel. He had offered crucial support to the Palestinian people and showed steadfast solidarity during the Gaza battle with Israel, announced Hamas. Raisi was also among the leaders who made significant political and diplomatic undertakings to cease the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people. As the arch-enemy of Israel, Iran stands out as one of the most significant supporters of Hamas, resulting in the Gaza Strip war's initiation with its assault on Israel on October 7th.

Raisi experienced an accident during his return flight from a meeting with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev. The head of state of the neighboring country dubbed Raisi an "impressive statesman" who "served his country steadfastly and reliably throughout his life," as per a Letter of Condolence from Aliyev to Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei posted in Baku. "On this somber day, may the Almighty grant the fortitude to the friendly and brotherly Iranian people," Aliyev added.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif pronounced a day of mourning. Additionally, he ordered the flag to be flown at half-mast "as a token of respect for President Raisi and his party and in solidarity with the amicable Iran," he elaborated on X. "The brave Iranian people will surmount this tragedy with their usual bravery," he continued. Sharif received Raisi in April for a three-day visit to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. The visit aimed to lessen tensions in relations after mutual punitive actions in the Iran-Pakistani border region in January.

The EU was notably brief. Council President Charles Michel extended his condolences in the name of the global community. "The EU extends its sincere condolences over the death of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Abdollahian and other members of their delegation and crew in a helicopter disaster," Michel posted on his official account on X. "Our thoughts are with the bereaved families."

Raisi held office as Iran's president for nearly three years. In his prior function as a prosecutor, he is rumored to have supervised numerous arrests and executions of political dissenters in 1988, leading to his critics dubbing him "The Butcher of Tehran."

The EU recently augmented its existing sanctions on Iran. The backdrop was the destructive Iranian attack on Israel using drones and missiles in mid-April, which ensued a presumed Israeli attack on the Iranian embassy in the Syrian capital of Damascus. The EU also imposed sanctions against Iran for severe human rights infringements.

Read also: