‘Deeply saddened and shocked’: India condoles Iranian President Raisi and Foreign Minister's death in helicopter crash : The Tribune India

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‘Deeply saddened and shocked’: India condoles Iranian President Raisi and Foreign Minister's death in helicopter crash

The helicopter crashed in the northwest of Iran on Sunday

‘Deeply saddened and shocked’: India condoles Iranian President Raisi and Foreign Minister's death in helicopter crash

File photos of PM Narendra Modi and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. Reuters

Tribune News Service

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, May 20

India on Monday condoled the death of Iran President of Dr Seyed Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a helicopter crash in the Varzaqan region of Azarbaijan, in the northwest of Iran. 

Raisi’s helicopter, along with two more choppers, was en route to Tabriz City on Sunday after the President inaugurated Qiz Qalasi Dam at the border with the Azerbaijan Republic. The wreckage of the helicopter was located on Monday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on X: “Deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic demise of Dr Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

Modi went on to describe the India-Iran relations and recollected the role of Raisi. “His contribution to strengthening India-Iran bilateral relationship will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to his family and the people of Iran. India stands with Iran in this time of sorrow,” Modi’s post said.

On Sunday night, Modi had posted on X saying, “Deeply concerned by reports regarding President Raisi’s helicopter flight. We stand in solidarity with the Iranian people in this hour of distress, and pray for well being of the President and his entourage.”

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also condoled the deaths of the Iranian leadership and made a special mention of his meetings with the two leaders in January.

The Minister posted on X: “Deeply shocked to hear of the passing away of Iran’s President Dr Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister H. Amir-Abdollahian in the helicopter crash. Recall my many meetings with them, most recently in January 2024. Our condolences to their families. We stand with the people of Iran at time of this tragedy”.

Jaishankar’s post was also posted in the Persian Language by the Indian Embassy in Iran

In January this year, Jaishankar had travelled to Tehran on January 14-15 for high-level exchanges between the two sides.

He had called on the President of Iran and held meetings with Foreign Minister Dr. Abdollahian.

At a meeting with Foreign Minister of Iran, aspects of bilateral relations, including political cooperation, people-to-people ties and connectivity initiatives, were discussed. Both had also discussed the issue of increased threats to the safety of maritime commercial traffic in the region.

On May 13, India and Iran signed a 10-year agreement to further develop the Chabahar port, a regional connectivity hub connecting India to Afghanistan, Central Asia and Eurasia.

India Ports Global Ltd (IPGL) promised investment of approximately $120 million in equipping the port. After witnessing the signing of the contract, Minister for Shipping Sarbananda Sonowal handed over a letter from External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to Iranian Minister for Roads Mehrdad Bazrpash offering Iran a credit of $250 million for the development aimed at improving Chabahar-related infrastructure.

Political clearance had come after PM Modi met Iranian President Raisi in Johannesburg on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit last year and discussed the pending long-term contract on Chabahar.

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