HomeFOREIGNWhite House Criticizes Raisi's Past Despite Offering Condolences

White House Criticizes Raisi’s Past Despite Offering Condolences

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Afor Kenneth

The White House commented on Monday that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi had “a lot of blood on his hands,” despite the U.S. offering condolences after his death in a helicopter crash.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Raisi was responsible for severe human rights abuses in Iran and supported regional proxies, including Hamas.

Kirby said, however, that “as in any other case, we certainly regret in general the loss of life and offered official condolences as appropriate.”

Amid the tragic death of the president, the country announced that the presidential election will hold as scheduled on June 28, 2024.

“The election calendar was approved at the meeting of the heads of the judiciary, government, and parliament,” state television said. “According to the initial agreement of the Guardian Council, it was decided that the 14th presidential election will be held on June 28.”

Iran plunged into a state of mourning and political uncertainty following the tragic news of President Ebrahim Raisi’s death in a helicopter crash. The aircraft went down on Sunday in a remote northwestern region of the country, obscured by dense fog. It was not until Monday morning that the wreckage was discovered, confirming the loss of Raisi, aged 63, along with the foreign minister and seven others on board.

Raisi, an ultraconservative figure, had been in office since 2021, a tumultuous period marked by widespread protests, deepening economic woes exacerbated by US sanctions, and armed tensions with longstanding adversary Israel. His presidency was a turbulent chapter in Iran’s recent history.

In the wake of this tragedy, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds the ultimate authority in the nation, declared a five-day mourning period. Khamenei announced that Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, aged 68, would assume interim presidential duties until new elections could be held within the next 50 days, as mandated by the country’s laws.

The nation now finds itself navigating a period of transition and uncertainty, as it grapples with the loss of its president and prepares for the process of selecting a new leader to guide the Islamic republic through these challenging times.

“The Iranian nation has lost a sincere and valuable servant,” said 85-year-old Khamenei, whom Raisi had been expected by many observers to one day succeed.

As the nation mourned the tragic loss of President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, thousands of grieving citizens converged on Tehran’s central Valiasr Square to pay their respects and honor the memory of the fallen leaders. The solemn gathering served as a collective expression of sorrow and a symbolic farewell.

Funeral rites are scheduled to commence on Tuesday in Tabriz, the capital of East Azerbaijan province, where the bodies of Raisi, Amir-Abdollahian, and the other victims – three crew members, two bodyguards, a religious imam, and a provincial governor – will be honored before Raisi’s remains are transported to Tehran for a subsequent funeral procession on Wednesday morning.

In response to this profound tragedy, Iran’s military chief of staff, Mohammad Bagheri, has ordered the formation of a high-level committee tasked with conducting a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the devastating helicopter crash that claimed the lives of the president and his entourage.

As the nation grapples with this immense loss, the outpouring of grief and the ceremonial proceedings underscore the profound impact of this event on the Iranian people and the uncertainty that lies ahead as the country prepares to navigate a critical transition of power.

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