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US defense chief sees no ‘broader regional security impact’ from Iran president death

US defense chief apologizes for concealing hospitalization
Source: Video Screenshot

The United States on Monday offered condolences after the president of arch-enemy Iran died in a helicopter crash and said it saw no immediate security impact from Ebrahim Raisi’s death.

“The United States expresses its official condolences for the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian, and other members of their delegation in a helicopter crash in northwest Iran,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

“As Iran selects a new president, we reaffirm our support for the Iranian people and their struggle for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” he said.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin indicated that US forces have not changed their posture after the crash in the longtime adversary, where decisions are ultimately made by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“I don’t necessarily see any broader regional security impact,” Austin told reporters.

He said that the United States did not know the cause of the crash but did not dispute that it was an accident.

“We continue to monitor the situation but we don’t have any insights into the cause of the accident,” Austin said.

The decision to offer condolences will likely meet criticism among hawkish critics of President Joe Biden’s foreign policy, although the State Department has routinely offered condolence statements for leaders from adversaries.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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