Iran's President, Foreign Minister die in helicopter crash

We mourn the epitome of human compassion in President Ebrahim Raisi 

by Seyed Mostafa Daryabari, Cultural Counsellor of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Pretoria, South Africa

 Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa in August 2024 (photo: GCIS)

21 May 2024

When most world leaders chose to remain indifferent to the atrocities experienced on a daily by the Palestinians and cemented their complicity by remaining silent, President Ebrahim Raisi spoke openly against injustice. When the living environment of the Palestinian children whose quality of life diminished as a result of military offenses could only be described as broken and vulnerable, he took a stand next to them and embraced them. 

The world can choose to remember him the way the destitute perceived him, a president of the poor, or choose to remember him the way the Palestinians will remember him, a defender of the downtrodden, or choose to look at him from the lens of the Iranian nation, a lover of humanity. 

His effort to preserve and promote high human values is well-known. His unique humility and humbleness, along with his exemplary kindness and patience, caused his love to be imprinted in the hearts of everyone who met and interacted with him, and I was one of these people.

The Supreme Leader mentioned two characteristics about him and his governments:
"One is that they went among the people, heard from the people, answered them, and this made them get first-hand information.

"Second, the reduction of formalities in the personal and governmental conduct of the government, especially the president himself, was noticeable to everyone, and this is important and noteworthy."

The President departs from this earth with his head held high, with unshakable faith in God, the most profound love his people, and the greatest confidence in the victory of the Iranian nation over its detractor’s.

He refused to succumb to the pressure of the enemy despite numerous sanctions meant to enslave his people, President Ebrahim Raisi lived by sacred principles that continue to define him. 

When the sanctions hit hard, the President reinstated hope in the nation. When the poor came knocking, he did not turn them away, and when bravery was in short supply, he stood tall and courageous for the weak.

There goes a man who epitomized human compassion. Heartfelt condolences to the President’s family, the Iranian nation, friends of Iran, and the entire peace loving populace. 

When we lay his body to rest, we do so with full conviction that many more like him will emerge to defend truth, peace, justice, and the oppressed as Iran has lots of elites and outstanding to management.

President Ramaphosa mourns passing of His Excellency President Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi of the Islamic Republic of Iran

President Cyril Ramaphosa is deeply saddened by the air disaster that has claimed the lives of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and personnel. President Raisi and Minister Amir-Abdollahian died when their helicopter crashed in East Azerbaijan while the leaders were en route back to Iran on Sunday, 19 May 2024.

On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, President Ramaphosa offers his deep condolences to the Supreme Leader of Iran, The Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, and the government and people of the Islamic Republic.

President Ramaphosa’s thoughts are with the families of the late President and Foreign Minister as well as the relatives of the personnel and air crew who perished.

President Ramaphosa, who as Deputy President paid a working visit to Iran in November 2015, said: “This is an extraordinary, unthinkable tragedy that has claimed a remarkable leader of a nation with whom South Africa enjoys strong bilateral relations and whom we were honoured to welcome to the BRICS fold in Johannesburg in 2023.

“Our hearts go out to the affected families and the administration of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“We join Iran in this moment of mourning.”

The Presidency of South Africa

Minister Pandor’s message of condolences on the passing of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, His Excellency Dr Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

20 May 2024 

The South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has expressed her deepest sympathy and condolences to the Government and the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran following the shocking and sad news of the passing of her counterpart, HE Dr Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on 19 May 2024. 

Dr Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is reported to have passed on in a helicopter crash, together with the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, HE President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi and other members of their delegation. 

Minister Pandor conveys her sincere condolences to the colleagues and family of Dr Amir-Abdollahian, wishing them comfort and solace. 

Minister Pandor co-hosted together with the late Dr Amir Abdollahian the 15th Session of the Joint Commission of Cooperation between the Republic of South Africa and the Islamic Republic of Iran held in Pretoria on 10 August 2023 and the late Dr Amir Abdollahian also paid a courtesy call on HE President Ramaphosa on that occasion. 

The Ministers also met several times on the margins of multilateral forums, including during the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meetings in 2023. 

Minister Pandor remembers the late Dr Amir Abdollahian as a brilliant and astute counterpart whose presence will be deeply missed.



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