Who in the West reacted inappropriately to the death of Iran's president and why?

Wednesday, 22 May 2024 —

The crash that killed Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and several other senior officials on Sunday has caused many Ukrainians to question whether Western politicians have a proper grasp of reality, given that Iran openly supports Putin's Russia and supplies it with weapons for the war against Ukraine.

When Tehran officially confirmed the deaths of Iran’s president and foreign minister, top European politicians rushed to offer the Iranians their condolences, even expressing "solidarity" with them. Even the US, despite its image as a public enemy of Iran, made gestures of respect for the politician rightly dubbed "the Butcher of Tehran".

Read more about the reactions of Western politicians to the death of Iran's president and what these reactions mean in the article by Sergiy Sydorenko, European Pravda's editor - Will the world mourn when Putin dies? How the death of Iran's president has embarrassed the West.

Is it possible to imagine any Western leader expressing their condolences to the German people in 1945 on the "tragic death" of Adolf Hitler?


Sympathy was indeed extended to the Germans by the then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Éamon de Valera, who personally visited the Third Reich's ambassador in Dublin on 2 May 1945, two days after Hitler shot himself in the bunker. Additionally, on 3 May, the president of Ireland, Douglas Hyde, also visited the ambassador to offer his condolences on the tragic death of the Nazi leader.

Of course none of Ireland's partners followed Dublin's example. And five days later, Germany signed an unconditional surrender.

Until recently, it would have been hard to believe that the West’s strategy would bear any resemblance to the "Irish disgrace".

But the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of several top officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran, including President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, has highlighted some serious problems. Too many Western leaders and diplomats have voluntarily copied the Ireland of 1945.

True, this is not about Putin (for now). But Ebrahim Raisi was no less toxic, anti-Western and anti-democratic a leader, responsible for thousands of deaths in his homeland. 

Raisi is also co-responsible for deaths abroad, including in Ukraine. He had been president since 2021 and had supported Iran's military aid for Russia's invasion and war.

His death has demonstrated, however, that for modern European politicians, crimes committed by an international leader while in office are easily forgotten.

One of the first to react in Brussels was European Council President Charles Michel, who expressed "sincere condolences" on behalf of the entire EU.

Josep Borrell, the head of EU diplomacy, offered condolences to the people of Iran, and this mantra about the "people" was echoed by other Western leaders.

However, amid the amnesia that has gripped many European leaders, a few examples stand out. More precisely, there is currently only one state that has publicly declared that the death of Iran’s president is not a cause for mourning: Lithuania. 

As far as other countries are concerned, the only politicians who have expressed this obvious and logical stance are outside the government – such as the MPs mentioned above. A prime example of the sane mind is this comment by former US vice president Mike Pence.

"Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is dead and the world is a safer place," he said.

What happens at the UN Security Council is always coordinated, and this episode was no exception. The US had therefore prepared to honour Ebrahim Raisi and consciously participated in this ceremony. This speaks louder than any statements – although Washington’s statement did sound relatively sane.

The whole story has been very revealing – for Ukraine as well, as it immerses us in the reality of international relations. Unfortunately these realities are cynical in the extreme, and there is almost no room left for values and principles. More precisely, these principles are valid for many, but they vanish as soon as a politician becomes a government official and begins to represent the state in the world.

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