World reactions to death of Iran’s President Raisi

IRAN’S powerful allies on Monday mourned the death of its President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, while regional militants hailed him as a supporter of the Palestinian cause.

The United States said the deceased ultraconservative leader “had blood on his hands”, Russia and China called him a “friend”, and Iran’s arch-foe Israel has yet to react publicly.

Here is a round-up of key reactions:

– United Nations 
Members of the UN Security Council observed a minute’s silence in Raisi’s memory at the request of the current council president, Mozambique Ambassador Pedro Comissario Afonso.

– NATO 
NATO spokesperson Farah Daklallah on X, formerly Twitter, sent the military alliance’s “condolences to the people of Iran”.

– United States 
State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said the United States “expresses its official condolences” and reaffirmed “our support for the Iranian people and their struggle for human rights and fundamental freedoms”.

Later, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Raisi was responsible for “atrocious” rights abuses and “had a lot of blood on his hands”.

– China
China’s President Xi Jinping said “the Chinese people have lost a good friend,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a press conference.

– European Union 
The European Union expressed its “sincere condolences”. EU Council President Charles Michel said in a statement: “Our thoughts go to the families.”

– Gulf states 
Iran’s Gulf neighbours Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman sent their condolences.

Jassem al-Budaiwi, secretary-general of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), called it a “tragic accident”.

– Russia 
Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed Raisi as an “outstanding politician” and “a true friend of Russia” in a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

– France 
France sent condolences to Iran and “the families of the victims of this accident,” in a foreign ministry statement.

– India 
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic demise” of Raisi, adding that “India stands with Iran in this time of sorrow.”

– Japan 
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a statement he was “deeply saddened” by Raisi’s passing, recalling his “candid discussions” with Raisi and the two countries’ “friendly relations”.

– Iranian opposition 
Exiled opposition group the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said Raisi’s death was “a monumental and irreparable strategic blow to the mullahs’ supreme leader Ali Khamenei and the entire regime, notorious for its executions and massacres”, in a statement from the group’s leader, Maryam Rajavi.

– Turkey 
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a national day of mourning.

Earlier, he sent “sincere condolences to the friendly and fraternal people and government” of Iran in a message on X.

– Taliban 
Mohammad Hassan Akhund, leader of Afghanistan’s Taliban government, said in a statement: “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and all Afghans are deeply saddened and affected by this tragic event.”

– Hamas 
Hamas mourned Raisi as an “honourable supporter” of the Palestinian militant group, currently at war with Israel in Gaza, and hailed his “support for the Palestinian resistance”.

– Pope Francis 
Pope Francis sent condolences in a telegram addressed to Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and sent “the assurance of spiritual closeness to the nation at this difficult time”.

– Gazans 
Several ordinary Gazans told AFP that Raisi had failed to ease their suffering.

“He never supported us, never kept his promises, never called for a ceasefire, and never stood by us,” said one, Naji Khodeir, a resident of the war-torn city of Deir al-Balah.

– Hezbollah 
Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah group, which has traded deadly cross-border fire with Israel during the war, praised Raisi as “a strong supporter, and a staunch defender of our causes”.

– Huthis 
Yemen’s Tehran-backed Huthi rebels said Raisi’s death “is a loss not only for Iran but also for the entire Islamic world and Palestine and Gaza,” Huthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said on X.

– Iraq 
Iran’s neighbour Iraq announced a day of mourning, the prime minister’s office announced.

– African Union 
African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said he was “deeply shocked and saddened” and voiced the AU’s “deep sympathy and solidarity” with Iran.

– Brazil 
Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva expressed “sadness” at the news and sent his “condolences”.

– Syria 
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a statement expressed solidarity with Tehran, which has backed him during more than a decade of civil war.

– Venezuela 
President Nicolas Maduro said he was “deeply saddened to have to say goodbye to an exemplary person”. –AFP