China mourns the passing of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in tragic helicopter crash

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20th May 2024 – (Beijing) China’s President Xi Jinping expressed profound sorrow over the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who perished in a helicopter crash in a mountainous region of western Iran shrouded in fog. The incident, which claimed the lives of both President Raisi and Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, has been described by President Xi as “a great loss to the Iranian people,” during a press briefing by China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.

Offering his “sincere condolences,” President Xi spoke highly of the late Iranian leader’s contributions to his country’s security and prosperity, as well as his efforts in strengthening the strategic partnership between Iran and China. “The Chinese people have lost a good friend,” Wang quoted Xi as stating.

The tragic accident occurred in East Azerbaijan province, where contact with the helicopter was lost on Sunday. Prior to the crash, President Raisi had been meeting with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev to inaugurate a dam project, underscoring his active role in regional development initiatives.

China, which is Iran’s largest trading partner and a key purchaser of its sanctioned oil, has vowed to provide “all necessary support and assistance” to Iran during this difficult time. This commitment extends to supporting Iran’s independence, stability, and development, reinforcing the deep ties between the two nations.