Afghan Citizens React to the Death of the Iranian President – Hasht-e Subh – Hasht-e Subh Daily

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The helicopter crash carrying the President of Iran and his accompanying delegation has elicited various reactions worldwide, as well as among Afghan politicians and citizens. Some Afghan citizens prayed for his well-being upon hearing the news of the crash, while others commented that he deserved this for engaging with the Taliban. Afghanistan and Iran, two neighboring countries with shared language, culture, history, and unbreakable religious bonds, have had a fluctuating relationship throughout history. Over the past two decades, Iran has maintained a dual policy towards Afghanistan. While it engaged and cooperated with the previous Afghan government, it also extended a red carpet to the Taliban. Former Afghan security officials have alleged that Tehran provided military and logistical support to the Taliban and treated their injured fighters.

Iranian media reported yesterday that Ebrahim Raisi, the President of Iran, along with his delegation, was en route to Tabriz after attending the inauguration ceremony of the Qiz Qalasi Dam, which was held in the presence of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev. However, their helicopter encountered an accident and crashed in the Varzaqan region.

In this incident, along with Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, the following individuals lost their lives: Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian Foreign Minister; Malek Rahmati, the Governor of East Azerbaijan; Mehdi Mousavi; Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, the Friday prayer leader of Tabriz; the President’s security unit chief; Seyyed Taher Mostafavi and Mohsen Daryanoush, the pilots; and Behrouz Ghadimi, the helicopter’s technical officer.

The crash of the Iranian President’s helicopter, along with his entourage, has sparked a wave of international reactions. Among these, Afghan citizens and politicians have also expressed varied responses.

Several political factions and opposition groups to the Taliban have expressed condolences to the Iranian government and people. Some political and cultural figures have described the incident as “tragic” and have stated their solidarity with the Iranian government and nation. Meanwhile, some individuals in line with the opposition to the Islamic Republic regime in Iran have expressed joy over the incident.

The National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF), led by Ahmad Massoud, released a message stating that they stand with the Iranian government and people in this “difficult and tragic time.” The Front expressed sympathy with the families of the victims of the air disaster.

The Islamic Society Party, led by Salahuddin Rabbani, along with Abdullah Abdullah, Ashraf Ghani, and several other former government figures, also described the incident as “tragic” and expressed their condolences to the Iranian government and people.

The Taliban stated that they were “deeply saddened and affected” by the incident. In a message from Mullah Hassan Akhund, the Taliban’s Prime Minister, the group expressed their solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Iran in their grief.

Furthermore, many social media users have extended their condolences to the Iranian people over the loss of the President and his entourage. Some of them prayed and hoped for the survival of Ebrahim Raisi during the search for the crashed helicopter.

Among these reactions, Najeeb Barwar, a poet who had referred to the Iranian religious leader as the “leader of Persian speakers,” wrote a poem mourning the death of the Iranian President. In one part of his poem, he wrote: “Stay, my brother, it’s not time to leave / Stay, don’t rush, it’s not time to die.”

Parto Naderi, a renowned poet and writer of Afghanistan, without mentioning the death of the Iranian President, quoted a couplet from Saadi: “If the enemy dies, it is no cause for joy / For, our lives too are not eternal.”

At the same time, some Afghan social media users have expressed joy in alignment with opponents of the Islamic Republic of Iran. They have stated that under Ebrahim Raisi’s orders, dozens of members of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement have been killed and hundreds more imprisoned.

Rustam Karimi, a Facebook user, wrote: “Congratulations to the Iranians!” In response to his critics, he stated that Raisi and the Taliban are of the same “material” and that their hands are stained with the blood of free thinkers.

Zubair Rizwan, another user, wrote: “Today is a good day to remove those offering condolences from my Facebook friends list.” In response to his critics, he explained that he could not comprehend how someone could defend freedom while mourning the death of a “tyrant.”

Some users have shared a joint photo of Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the former President of Afghanistan, and Ebrahim Raisi, asking: “Which is more honorable, Raisi’s death in his own country or Ashraf Ghani’s life in exile?”

Ghulam Farooq Aleem, a former government prosecutor, wrote: “Ashraf Ghani fled by helicopter, abandoning his nation in its hardest times. His escape has become a joke in various countries. Raisi died in a helicopter crash, and the majority of countries in the region have declared national mourning.”

Many anonymous Afghan accounts have reposted slogans and songs against the Islamic Republic of Iran. A Facebook user shared a video of Ebi, a famous Iranian singer, saying: “This country will not become a nation until the mullahs are buried.”

Abdulhai Khorasani, a cultural activist, wrote: “The most instructive lesson from this incident, which can serve as a warning to dictatorial politicians and totalitarian regimes in the region and the world, is the joy and celebrations of Iranian citizens around the world on social media. This is aptly captured by the verse: ‘Did you see that on the day of his death, lips opened in laughter / He who had introduced a nation to tears.’ He added that Ebrahim Raisi, the President of Iran, ‘was the head of the Death Committee in 1988, responsible for issuing death sentences to thousands of prisoners at that time.’”

The news of the helicopter crash involving Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi and his entourage has also sparked widespread reactions among Iranian social media users. These users initially accused the Iranian intelligence apparatus and media of manipulating information and managing public opinion in the country.

Many social media users in Afghanistan and Iran questioned why, despite adverse weather conditions, the President and his entire security detail were allowed to fly, and why this incident did not affect the two other helicopters.

Several Iranian users have reposted videos of Raisi’s last meeting with the Turkish President, where he recited a verse from Hafez: “Be happy, for the oppressor will not find the way to the destination.” Some also recalled the victims of the Ukrainian plane crash, stating: “We hope the Iranian leaders have now experienced the feeling of falling and being hit by two missiles.”

Some Iranian users have written that on this day, we should remember “the grieving Iranian mothers who have been waiting to hear the execution sentences of their children or those who were executed in the 1980s,” in which Raisi played a significant role.

It is worth noting that following the deaths of Ebrahim Raisi and Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in the helicopter crash, Mohammad Mokhber, the Vice President of Iran, has assumed the duties of the President, and Ali Bagheri Kani has taken over the duties of the Foreign Minister. According to the Iranian Constitution, presidential elections must be held within 50 days.

The Iranian government has declared five days of national mourning in response to this incident.

The death of Ebrahim Raisi in the air accident has elicited widespread international reactions. Most countries in the region and the world, including the United States, have expressed their condolences over this event.

You can read the Persian version of this daily report here:

واکنش‌های شهروندان افغانستان به جان باختن رییس جمهور ایران

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