Al-Azhar grand imam mourns Iranian President Raisi death in helicopter crash

Ahram Online , Monday 20 May 2024

The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the world's leading Sunni Islamic institution, has extended condolences to the Iranian people following the tragic death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Imam
The Grand Imam of Azhar Ahmed El-Tayyeb. Photo: Al-Ahram

 

On Monday, Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb extended his prayers for mercy to all the victims of the crash in a social media statement by Al-Azhar, Egypt's leading Islamic Sunni institution, quoting the Quranic verse: "Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return."

The helicopter, carrying Iranian President Raisi, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and several other officials, crashed in mountainous terrain near the Azerbaijan border on Sunday.

According to Iranian reports, all nine individuals on board, including officials, an imam, and crew members, tragically lost their lives.

Raisi’s helicopter was forced to make a hard landing due to the bad weather and fog, Minister of Interior Ahmad Vahidi said Sunday.

"The grand imam of Al-Azhar extends sincere condolences to the Iranian people, the family of the Iranian president, the foreign minister, and their companions," the statement added.

"May Allah encompass the deceased with His vast mercy and grant their families and loved ones patience and solace," the grand imam prayed.

Iran has declared five days of mourning for President Raisi, 63, who assumed office in 2021.

The death of the Iranian officials was confirmed on Monday, after conducting extensive rescue operations throughout the night in severe weather conditions and treacherous terrain.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber as the nation's acting president.

Khamenei assigned Mokhber, the judiciary chief, and the parliament speaker to prepare for the upcoming presidential elections within 50 days maximally, as reported by the official Iranian news agency IRNA.

Meanwhile, Iran's government appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani as acting foreign minister after Amir-Abdollahian.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry have extended their condolences to the Iranian people following Raisi's death.

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