News ID: 175421
Published: 0904 GMT January 09, 2017

World leaders extend condolences

World leaders extend condolences

Condolences pour in from across world over the passing of Chairman of Iranian Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who suffered a heart attack Sunday at the age of 82.

In addition to world media that immediately covered the ex-president's death on Sunday evening, many politicians and state officials in separate messages expressed their condolences.

A US State Department official on Sunday described Rafsanjani as a "prominent figure" throughout the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

"We send our condolences to his family and loved ones," the official said in a statement.

Calling Rafsanjani an "influential leader," Chinese spokesperson Lu Kang said that China offered sympathy to the government and people of Iran, as well as Rafsanjani's relatives. Lu also spoke highly of Rafsanjani's contributions to bilateral ties during his presidency.

Presidents of Nicaragua and Venezuela, in separate messages on Monday, expressed their sympathy with Iranian government and nation.

President of Nicaragua José Daniel Ortega and his wife Vice-President Rosario Murillo in their message to Rouhani called the late Ayatollah Rafsanjani as an outstanding figure in brotherly country of Iran.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also was among world leaders sending condolences.

Also, Gary Lewis, the UN resident coordinator in Iran, posted a message on his Twitter account, saying, “Entire UN family in Iran extends sincere condolences on sad demise of Fmr Pres Hashemi Rafsanjani”.

Neighboring countries


The sudden death of the iconic cleric drew condolences from neighboring countries as well.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a post in his Twitter account that he is “deeply saddened by demise of Hashemi Rafsanjani, former president of Iran. May Allah rest his soul in peace. Condolences to family and people of Iran.”

Former president and prime minister of Turkey Abdullah Gul, who was a minister of state when Rafsanjani was Iran’s president, also noted in Twitter that “I am very sad to learn about the demise of President Rafsanjani. May Allah rest his soul in peace.”

Iraqi President Muhammad Fuad Masum, Iraqi Vice President Nouri al-Maliki, and Head of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq Ammar Hakim have sent messages of condolences over the passing away of Ayatollah Rafsanjani.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, in his condolence message to his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, described the cleric as a “prominent figure” of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called Ayatollah Rafsanjani an effective person who was very much popular among people. The country’s Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah also offered his condolences to Iran over the top cleric’s death. Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai called him a freedom seeker who spared his life in struggle.

Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif also described him as an influential figure not only in Iran but also a symbol of reconciliatory peace efforts at the international level.

Terming Rafsanjani a “rational pragmatist”, the Pakistani prime minister stated that his reform agenda for Iran also provided much needed guidance for the unity of the Muslim world.

Nawaz Sharif prayed for the departed soul and conveyed condolences on behalf of the people and government of Pakistan to the brotherly people of Iran.

Arab world's reaction


The passing of Ayatollah Rafsanjani, a politician known for his moderate approaches towards other countries, particularly the Arab world, has saddened many officials in the Arab countries.

The United Arab Emirates leaders sent condolence messages to Iran over Rafsanjani’s death. Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter that Rafsanjani was “one of the voices of political realism and moderation in Iran.” The emirs of Dubai and crown prince of Abu Dhabi also sent condolences.

Qatar too sent condolences from ruling Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani over Rafsanjani’s death.

A condolence from Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to Iran said he was "praying to Almighty God for his soul to rest in peace and inspire Iran's president, its people and his family." The country's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa also, in a post on Twitter, said "God bless" Rafsanjani.

Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah offered condolences, saying he "prayed to Allah the Almighty to bestow blessings on the deceased."

Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said, sent a telegram of condolence to Iran.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in his condolence message to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, said Ayatollah Rafsanjani “lived a life of struggle against injustice and oppression, and he was known for his bold positions and tireless efforts to preserve the dignity and freedom of the Iranian people.”

Meanwhile in a statement on Monday, Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah offered condolences to the Iranian nation, praising Ayatollah Rafsanjani as a firm supporter of the anti-Israel resistance front.

Nasrallah said Ayatollah Rafsanjani was a flag-bearer of the Palestinian cause, as the main issue of the Muslim world, and stood by the resistance movement facing Israeli plots against Palestine and the entire region.

Moreover, representative of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement in Tehran, Nasser Abu Sharif, described the passing of “an age-old friend of Imam Khomeini and a pillar of the Islamic Revolution’s struggles” as a great sorrow felt by the Islamic Revolution lovers around the world, particularly the Palestinians.

Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, the leader of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, also sent a message of condolence to Ayatollah Khamenei, in which he hailed the late cleric as a well-known supporter of the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance.

He added that the Iranian cleric made great endeavors towards reinforcing unity among Muslim nations in the face of plots by the US, the Israeli regime and the mercenaries supporting Takfiri terrorists in the Middle East.


Media headlines


Covering the death of the Ayatollah, world's media hailed him as a leading figure in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran with AFP describing him as 'Sheikh of moderation', Bloomberg as 'Key ally of Rouhani'", and Time as 'Most influential power-broker'.



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