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Politics

‘Disturbing Tragedy’ — How Tinubu, Ramaphosa, El-Sisi Reacted To Iran President’s Death

Bola Ahmed Tinubu 1

African leaders have expressed their condolences and solidarity with Iran following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other officials in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu described the incident as a “disturbing tragedy” and praised Raisi as a leader “passionately committed to the development of Iran.”

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa called the incident 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.”

Ramaphosa added, “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 African Union Commission chairman, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said he was “deeply shocked and saddened” by the news.

Mahamat extended his, “sincere condolences, deep sympathy and the solidarity of the African Union to the bereaved families and the Supreme Leader and Leader of the Islamic Revolution, His Eminence Sayyed Ali Khamenei, to the Iranian government, and the brotherly Iranian people during this time of deep sorrow and loss.”

Also reacting, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, sent a message of condolence and support for the Iranian people during this time of grief.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei earlier declared five days of public mourning following the tragedy. Mohammad Mokhber has been named interim president until elections can be held within 50 days to choose Raisi’s successor. 

The helicopter carrying Raisi, 63, crashed in a mountainous area as the president was returning to Tehran from a ceremony for the opening of a dam on Iran’s border with Azerbaijan.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation but the helicopter reportedly suffered difficulties after running into a heavy fog and rain.

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