Iran: After Raisi’s death: Reactions from Putin, Michel and others

Iran: After Raisi’s death: Reactions from Putin, Michel and others

Azerbaijani President Aliyev and his Iranian colleague Raisi met on Sunday. On the return journey to Tehran, Raisi’s plane crashed. Politicians react with dismay.

After the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, EU Council President Charles Michel expressed his condolences on behalf of the EU. “The EU expresses its sincere condolences on the death of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Abdollahian, as well as other members of their delegation and crew in a helicopter accident,” wrote Michel on his official account on X. “Our thoughts are with the families.”

Foreign representative Josep Borrell made similar comments. “The EU expresses its condolences to the families of all victims and the affected Iranian citizens,” it said in a brief statement. “France expresses its condolences to the Islamic Republic of Iran following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian and their companions,” the French Foreign Ministry also said.

Raisi and Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday. Raisi was President of Iran for almost three years. In his previous role as public prosecutor, he is said to have been responsible for numerous arrests and executions of political dissidents in 1988, which is why his opponents nicknamed him the “Butcher of Tehran.”

The EU only expanded its previous sanctions against Iran last week. The background is in particular the major Iranian attack on Israel with drones and missiles in mid-April, which followed a suspected Israeli attack on the Iranian embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus. The EU has also imposed sanctions on the country for serious human rights violations.

Traffic light politicians see no signs of Iran changing course

After the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, leading politicians in the traffic light coalition see no signs of a change of course. Green Party leader Omid Nouripour told “Spiegel”: “Raisi personally was responsible for many unjust sentences and executions. Now he will no longer be able to be brought before a court. Without this one hardliner, the regime will still remain an aggressive one.”

FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai also warned against the illusion that Iran would now change its geopolitical agenda. He told the magazine that Raisi’s death would not change the Islamic Republic’s external policy. The central decisions in Iran’s political system are made by the religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and not by the president.

However, FDP foreign politician Ulrich Lechte expressed cautious hope that Iran’s leadership could take a new course after the death of the hardliner Raisi. He told “Spiegel”: “The supreme leader Khamenei now has another opportunity to moderate his country’s politics.” CDU foreign policy expert Jürgen Hardt also sees a small chance for change.

Putin and Xi recognize Raisi as a friend

Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin praised Raisi as an outstanding politician and a true friend of Russia. “He was rightly highly respected by his compatriots and enjoyed great prestige abroad,” said Putin in a letter of condolence to the Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“As a true friend of Russia, he made an invaluable personal contribution to the development of good-neighborly relations between our countries and made great efforts to bring them to the level of a strategic partnership.” Relations between Tehran and Moscow are traditionally close.

Putin sees Tehran as a key partner in his pursuit of a world order without US dominance. He particularly appreciates Iranian support in its war of aggression against Ukraine. Raisi and Putin were in constant contact with each other. Ukraine has long complained that Iran is supplying Russia with drones and other weapons while circumventing sanctions.

China’s President Xi Jinping also expressed his “deep sadness over the death” in a message and offered his “sincere condolences” to the government and people, a spokesman for the Beijing Foreign Ministry said. “His unfortunate death is a great loss for the Iranian people and the Chinese people have also lost a good friend,” the spokesman continued.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also expressed his condolences to Iran. He expressed his condolences to the Iranian people and the families of Raisi and the other deceased, it said in a post on the X platform.

Arab world expresses condolences

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is dismayed shortly after a meeting with his Iranian colleague Ebrahim Raisi. “With President Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian people have lost an outstanding statesman who served his country with dedication and commitment throughout his life. His memory will always live on in our hearts,” said a telegram of condolence from Aliyev to the Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The Azerbaijani president was the last statesman to see Raisi alive. There were photos and a video of the “historic visit” on Aliyev’s website.

Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani also wrote on X about “his sincere condolences to the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Egypt mourns President Raisi and the other victims of the accident, the government spokesman said in a statement. The Jordanian king, King Abdullah II, expressed his solidarity with the Iranian people.

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, who is allied with Iran, made similar statements. He expressed his condolences for “this painful incident and the resulting great loss,” according to the state news agency Sana. The government in Baghdad, Iraq, also expressed sympathy.

Words of sadness also came from Iranian-backed militias in the region. Hezbollah in Lebanon said Raisi was a great supporter and “a staunch advocate of our causes, especially in Jerusalem and in Palestine.” Similar words came from the Houthis in Yemen. Raisi’s death was “not only a loss for Iran, but for the entire Islamic nation, Palestine and Gaza,” said a spokesman on The incident claimed the life of “one of Iran’s best leaders,” it said in a statement on Telegram.

Source: Stern

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