Ruto, world leaders mourn Iran's Raisi

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. [AP]

President William Ruto has mourned with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei and the people of Iran following the demise of President Ebrahim Raisi in Sunday’s plane crash.

 Ruto has mourned Raisi as a firm steward who harboured ambitions of putting his country on the world map.

 “President Raisi was a fearless leader and a dedicated public servant with a long and distinguished career in public service. He was a firm leader committed to the causes that he believed in and sought to elevate Iran’s standing on the global stage,” read Ruto’s message on X.

Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Musalia Mudavadi, in his condolence message to Iran’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Ali Bagheri, described Raisi as a tireless leader dedicated to his fellow countrymen.

“During his tenure as Foreign Affairs Minister, His Excellency Hossein Abdollahian contributed greatly not only to the promotion of regional peace, security, and stability but also invested his energy in enhancing relations between Iran and its friendly nations, such as Kenya,” said Mudavadi.

 President Raisi visited Kenya in July 2023 on his maiden trip to Africa to strengthen bilateral relations and foster collaboration in various sectors.

 The outpouring of condolence messages has streamed from various heads of state and governments from around the world.

South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa says that he is ‘deeply saddened’ by the air accident and joins Iran in mourning.

 He wrote: “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.”

 Russia’s Vladimir Putin says that he will cherish the moments he shared with Raisi whom he has described as a ‘wonderful man’.

 Turkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had earlier offered assistance for the search and rescue mission, says that he will forever be grateful to the fallen president for the efforts he made to bring peace to the people of Iran.

 In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reflected on Raisi’s contribution in strengthening India-Iran bilateral ties.

 Further, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs conveyed President Xi Jinping’s condolences which said that China has lost a ‘cherished friend’.

 Iranian state media, while confirming the death, said that President Raisi had been ‘martyred’ in a plane accident northwest of the country.

 The incident also consumed the life of Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian