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World leaders react to Iranian president’s killing in helicopter crash

Mr Raisi and other officials died after the helicopter suffered a hard landing due to bad weather in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province while returning from Khoda Afarin country to Tabriz.

World leaders have started reacting to the tragic death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and the foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Mr Raisi and other officials died after the helicopter suffered a hard landing due to bad weather in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province while returning from Khoda Afarin country to Tabriz.

Tributes and condolences poured in Monday from regional and international leaders. Several countries in the Middle East have expressed support to the Iranian government.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was deeply saddened and shocked by Mr Raisi’s tragic demise.

Mr Modi said, “My heartfelt condolences to his family and the people of Iran. India stands with Iran in this time of sorrow.”

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev expressed shock over Mr Raisi’s sudden death.

“Today, after bidding a friendly farewell to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, we were profoundly troubled by the news of a helicopter carrying the top delegation crash-landing in Iran.

“Our prayers to Allah Almighty are with President Ebrahim Raisi and the accompanying delegation,” Mr Aliyev said.

Mr Aliyev, however, said Azerbaijan would be ready to offer any assistance needed to the Iranian people in the wake of the immense loss.

In his condolence message, the Prime Minister and President of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, said the country would observe a day of mourning and fly the flag at half-mast as a mark of respect to Me Raisi.

“Pakistan had the pleasure of hosting President Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on a historic visit less than a month ago.

“They were good friends of Pakistan. 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,” said the PM in a tweet.

In a statement, Hamas expressed solidarity with Iran’s supreme leader and the Iranian people on the occasion of the president’s death as well as that of others on board, including Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

It called the crash an “unfortunate accident and painful tragedy.”

“May He inspire the brotherly Iranian people and the families and loved ones of the victims with patience and good condolences,” the statement said.

According to local media, Vice-President Mohammad Mokhber will now assume powers of the presidency.

The country is expected to hold an election within 50 days to replace Mr Raisi.

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