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22 May, 2024 13:07

Kremlin in disbelief at US ‘insult’ of late Iranian president

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov doubted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken could make such an ‘awkward’ statement
Kremlin in disbelief at US ‘insult’ of late Iranian president

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has expressed disbelief at comments by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, following the death of former Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash.

The top US diplomat claimed the Iranian people are “better off” without Raisi, during a grilling by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee over his department's reaction to the deadly accident on Sunday.

Peskov was asked about the remark on Wednesday and said he would need to see the original of Blinken’s words, since he found reports about them implausible. He said he doubted that “a high-ranking official of a nation of the US’ stature could make, diplomatically speaking, such an awkward statement.”

Such a remark would be “insulting to the entire people” of Iran, the Kremlin spokesman added.

The US Department of State issued a formal statement of condolence over Raisi’s death, which some Republican lawmakers called inappropriate, considering that Washington brands Iran and its government an “enemy of the free world,” as Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) put it.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) demanded that Blinken clarify whether he believed that the world was “better now today that Raisi is dead.” The secretary responded that “the Iranian people are probably better off,” since the deceased president cannot pursue his “horrible” policies anymore.

”We are certainly not mourning his death,” Blinken stressed, when asked about the UN observing official mourning for Raisi at its headquarters in New York.

The Iranian president was killed alongside Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and senior regional officials, after his helicopter went down in mountainous East Azerbaijan province in northwest Iran. Tehran has scheduled a new presidential election for June 28. Vice President Mohammad Mokhber assumed presidential powers on Monday, after Raisi’s death was confirmed.