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Guyana extends condolences to Iran on deaths of President, Foreign Minister

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– following fatal helicopter crash in East Azerbaijan province

Guyana has extended its condolences to the Islamic Republic of Iran, following the fatal helicopter crash in an East Azerbaijan province that claimed the lives of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
On his social media page, President Dr Irfaan Ali revealed that the Government of Guyana has conveyed to the people of Iran their deepest condolences, making it clear that Guyana stands with the Islamic country in this difficult time.
“I expressed my deepest condolences on behalf of the Government and People of Guyana to the Supreme Ruler, Government, and People of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the tragic loss of President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a helicopter crash yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Iran during this difficult time,” President Ali said.
Iranian President Raisi was returning after traveling to Iran’s border with Azerbaijan to inaugurate a dam with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev when the crash occurred in the Dizmar forest in East Azerbaijan province. Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev, who said he had bid a “friendly farewell” to Raisi earlier in the day, had offered assistance in the rescue.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (left) and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) had said that the helicopter was also carrying the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province and other officials. According to Iranian state media on Monday, the President, Foreign Minister, and others had been found dead after an hours-long search through difficult conditions that included fog and a mountainous terrain.
IRNA had said the crash killed a total of eight people including three crew members aboard the Bell helicopter. They had further said that bad weather was the cause of the crash and was complicating rescue efforts. The chief of staff of Iran’s army ordered all the resources of the army and the elite Revolutionary Guard to be put to use in search and rescue operations.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran’s nuclear programme, sought to reassure Iranians, saying there would be no disruption to state affairs.

The helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi taking off in Azerbaijan on May 19, 2024 (Photo: Ali Hamed Haghdoust/IRNA/WANA via REUTERS)

The national broadcaster had earlier stopped all its regular programming to show prayers being held for Raisi across the country and, in a corner of the screen, live coverage of rescue teams deployed on foot in the mountainous area in heavy fog.
The crash comes at a time of growing dissent within Iran over an array of political, social, and economic crises. Iran’s clerical rulers face international pressure over Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme and its deepening military ties with Russia during the war in Ukraine.
Since Iran’s ally Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, provoking Israel’s assault on Gaza, conflagrations involving Iran-aligned groups have erupted throughout the Middle East.
Raisi, 63, was elected president in 2021, and since taking office has ordered a tightening of morality laws, overseen a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests, and pushed hard in nuclear talks with world powers.
In Iran’s dual political system, split between the clerical establishment and the government, it is Raisi’s 85-year-old mentor Khamenei, supreme leader since 1989, who holds decision-making power on all major policies.
For years many have seen Raisi as a strong contender to succeed Khamenei, who has endorsed Raisi’s main policies. Raisi’s victory in a closely managed election in 2021 brought all branches of power under the control of hardliners, after eight years when the presidency had been held by pragmatist Hassan Rouhani and a nuclear deal negotiated with Washington.
However, Raisi’s standing may have been dented by widespread protests against clerical rule and a failure to turn around Iran’s economy, hamstrung by Western sanctions.

The post Guyana extends condolences to Iran on deaths of President, Foreign Minister appeared first on Guyana Times.

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