'Saddened and shocked': World leaders extend condolences after President Raeisi's martyrdom

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World leaders have extended condolences to the Iranian government and nation over the martyrdom of President Ebrahim Raeisi in a helicopter crash in the country’s northwest.

Raeisi died alongside his accompanying delegation, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, after their chopper crashed in the Dizmar forest in East Azarbaijan Province on Sunday.

Following an hours-long search hampered by poor weather conditions, rescuers found the burnt-out wreckage of the helicopter and its passengers were confirmed dead.

Irreplaceable loss

Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed Raeisi as an "outstanding politician" and said his death was an "irreplaceable loss."

"Raeisi was an outstanding politician whose entire life was dedicated to serving his homeland," Putin said in a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei.

"As a true friend of Russia, he made an invaluable personal contribution to the development of good-neighborly relations between our countries, and made great efforts to take them to the level of a strategic partnership.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Iranian president and top diplomat had been "true and reliable friends" of Moscow.

He further described the pair as "patriots... who firmly defended the interests of their state and gave their lives in selfless service to the Motherland."

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