Iran’s allies in ‘Axis of Resistance’ mourn Raisi’s death

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

BEIRUT: Iran-backed members of the “Axis of Resistance” against Israel and its allies expressed their condolences on Monday after Tehran confirmed President Ebrahim Raisi had died in a helicopter crash.

Palestinian group Hamas, Lebanon´s Hezbollah movement, Yemen´s Huthi rebels, the Syrian government and Iraq-based armed groups all mourned the death of Raisi and eight others on Sunday.

Also among those killed when the helicopter crashed into a remote mountainside in heavy fog was Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, known for his fierce anti-Israel sentiment and scepticism of the West.

Hamas mourned Raisi as an “honourable supporter” of the Gaza-based group whose October 7 attack on Israel sparked the bloodiest ever war in the coastal territory. Hamas said it appreciated Raisi´s “support for the Palestinian resistance and tireless efforts in solidarity” with Palestinians since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

Iran has hailed the October 7 attack that triggered the war as a “success” but denied any involvement. Hamas also praised Raisi and Amir-Abdollahian´s “intense political and diplomatic efforts to stop the Zionist (Israeli) aggression against our Palestinian people”.

Lebanon´s powerful Hezbollah group, which has traded deadly cross-border fire with Israel amid the war, praised Raisi as “a strong supporter, and a staunch defender of our causes... and a protector of the resistance movements”. “Hezbollah in Lebanon extends its deepest condolences,” the group said in a statement, adding that it had known Raisi “closely for a long time”.

Mohammed Abdulsalam, a spokesperson for Yemen´s Huthi rebels, said on X that Raisi´s death was a loss “for the entire Islamic world and Palestine and Gaza”. Palestinians were “in dire need of the presence of such a president who continued to defend” their right to freedom, said the group, which has launched attacks against targets with alleged Israeli links in support of Palestinians.