Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 25 June 2024 1.16 AM IST

Death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi: India loses a close ally


The world is shocked by the accidental death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. The sudden death of Raisi, the leader who led Iran in domestic and international situations, has caused a great loss not only to the people of Iran but also to India. The Iranian president's interventions were crucial in India signing an agreement to take control of a foreign port for the first time after two decades of negotiations and crises. Raisi was a leader who always had a warm friendship with India. Iran's President, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullah Hian, provincial governor Malik Rahmati and a nine-member group including high-ranking officials and bodyguards were killed in a helicopter crash in Azerbaijan on Sunday afternoon.

Pictures of the wreckage of the burnt helicopter have been released after it crashed in the forest area. The helicopter crashed in a forest area 600 km from Tehran while returning from the inauguration of the Qiz Qalasi Dam, a joint venture between Iran and Azerbaijan. Raisi and his team were travelling in three helicopters. Two other helicopters have returned safely. The rescue operation was difficult due to heavy fog in the hilly area where the accident took place. Turkey and Russia helped in the rescue operation. With the death of Raisi, who was considered the successor to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran has lost one of its strongest leaders in this crisis.

Raisi became the president of Iran in 2001 while still the head of the judiciary. He had to face many protests and uprisings initially due to the tightening of religious laws, but he overcame all of them and became a dominant ruler. His intransigent stance also played a crucial role in the decision to launch a missile attack on Israel. Raisi, who had fully supported Russia in the war in Ukraine, earned the displease of the United States and other European countries for that very reason. He was also on the list of Iranian leaders banned by the US.

Raisi was banned in 2019 during the presidency of Donald Trump. His recent attack on Israel is what brought him to the world's attention. With that, there were rumours that there could be an attack on Raisi's life at any time. The fact that only the helicopter on which Raisi was on crashed, raises many questions in this context. The cause of the accident will be clarified only after a detailed investigation by top security experts of Iran and Azerbaijan. An emergency cabinet meeting was held to discuss the steps to be taken in the future after it was confirmed that Raisi was killed in the accident. The cabinet meeting was held with a black cloth draped over the President's chair and a picture of Raisi.

Reports indicate that the temporary role of the President will be performed by Muhammad Mokhber, who is currently the First Vice President. The current rule in the country is to elect a new president within fifty days. After the news of the accident, Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, said that the country's administrative affairs will not be disrupted in any way and people should not worry. Raisi, who emerged as the most prominent of Iran's leaders, naturally became a thorn in the eye of Israel and other Western countries that opposed Iran. That is why this helicopter crash has become something of a mystery.

This is also an occasion when the nations of the world should stand together in mourning for Iran. Condoling Raisi's death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India stands with Iran and will remember the late leader's contribution to strengthening India-Iran bilateral ties. Raisi's unexpected demise comes within days of the agreement to hand over Iran's Chabahar port to India for the next ten years. The deal had angered Pakistan, China and the US alike.

The deal would have opened the door for Iran, reeling under bans from Western countries, to get essential commodities, medicines, etc. from India. At the same time, Iran's friendship had become a force to increase India's influence in the West

India's ability to transport goods to Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and to European countries up to Russia through Chabahar bypassing Pakistan, was a result of Raisi's support, regardless of India's relationship with Israel. If Iran has lost one of its supreme leaders with Raisi's death, India has lost a close ally.

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