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UAE, Qatar mourn Iran president, FM after helicopter crash

Iran’s Gulf neighbours the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on Monday mourned the deaths of President Ebrahim Raisi and foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a…

Iran’s Gulf neighbours the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on Monday mourned the deaths of President Ebrahim Raisi and foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a helicopter crash.

The oil-rich UAE, which has mended ties with Tehran after years of rift, “stands in solidarity with Iran at this difficult time”, said Emirati President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the Iranian government and people over the passing of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and those accompanying them following a tragic accident,” Sheikh Mohammed posted on social media platform X.

In another statement on X, Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, called the news “painful”, expressing his “sincere condolences to the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia have long had strained ties with Iran because of its nuclear program and support for militant groups across the region, but they have mended relations in recent times.

In a dramatic shift, China brokered an agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia in March 2023 to restore diplomatic ties after a seven-year rupture.

In June, Amir-Abdollahian visited the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman as part of a regional tour aimed at consolidating Tehran’s Gulf ties.

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