Tanzania: Samia Mourns Iran President

President Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday joined global leaders to extend heartfelt condolences to the government and the people of Iran, following the passing on of President Ebrahim Raisi and his entourage in a chopper accident.

"On behalf of the government and people of the United Republic of Tanzania, I wish to convey our deepest condolences to the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the tragic death of His Excellency Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran," Dr Samia wrote on X (formerly twitter).

Adding "We join you in mourning the loss of your leader and wish you strength and comfort during this difficult time."

ALSO READ: Iran mourns President Raisi's tragic death in helicopter crash

Likewise, Kenyan President Dr William Ruto sent the condolences through his X account.

"I wish to express my heartfelt condolences and solidarity with the people of Iran at this challenging time," he wrote.

He eulogised the departed Mr Raisi as 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. As we condole with the people of Iran, we commend Allah's mercy and comfort to the people of Iran," he said on X.

Mr Ruto reminded that Kenya and Iran share cordial relations signified by the fact that in his first-ever trip to the African continent as President, Mr Raisi chose Kenya as his first destination.

In another development, the African Union Commission's (AUC) Chairperson, Mr Moussa Faki in a statement said he was deeply shocked and saddened at the news of the tragic passing of President Raisi and the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Hossein Amirabdollahian and their companions in the air accident.

"The chairperson extends 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," read the statement.

Iran's president and foreign minister died after their helicopter crashed in a mountainous area of northwest Iran.

Rescuers found the chopper's burned wreckage on Monday morning, more than 12 hours after it came down in bad weather.

President Raisi, the Foreign Minister Mr Amirabdollahian and all the passengers in the helicopter were killed in the crash.

State TV said the helicopter smashed into a mountain. There has been no official word on the cause, but there was thick fog in the area.

Five days of national mourning have been declared by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Mr Raisi (63) was travelling from Iran's border with Azerbaijan, where he had inaugurated a dam with the country's president.

The helicopter was travelling in a convoy of three aircraft and Iranian media initially described it as a "hard landing".

Iranian news agency IRNA said Mr Raisi was flying in an American-made Bell 212 helicopter purchased in the early 2000s.

According to the IRNA, the funeral ceremonies for the president and his companions will take place today at 9:30 am local time in Tabriz.

The departed body would later be taken to the capital Tehran.

President Raisi was elected in 2021.

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