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Leader: Iran to keep on path of regional unity despite loss of President Raeisi

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei (R) receives Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Al Thani in Tehran, May 22, 2024.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Iran will continue to strengthen bonds of friendship with regional states despite the “difficult” loss of President Ebrahim Raeisi.

Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who was visiting Tehran to honor the late president, whom the Leader described as a “polyhistor.”

The Leader expressed gratitude for Qatar’s condolences and emphasized the importance of advancing collaborative relationship between Iran and Qatar.

Ayatollah Khamenei said countries in the region have no option but to unite in the face of adversarial efforts to disrupt stability and peace in the region.

Meanwhile, the Qatari emir said relations between Iran and Qatar have always been strong and this path will continue.

“We see no limits for expanding relations with Iran.”

‘Need to uplift Iran-Pakistan ties’

Ayatollah Khamenei also received Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The Leader expressed sincere gratitude for the sympathy of the government and brotherly people of Pakistan.

He said Iran attaches top priority to its relations with Pakistan, and believes in the possibility of uplifting ties under the new Pakistani government.

“Friendly relations between brotherly countries do not always go smoothly, and we must overcome obstacles and pursue the progress of cooperation with determination and in practice,” the Leader stated.

“Raeisi’s recent trip to Pakistan could be a turning point in relations between the two countries,” the Leader said. Acting President Mohammad "Mokhber will pursue the path of cooperation and the agreements."

Sharif also described Raeisi’s recent trip to Pakistan as beneficial and a foundation for further expansion of relations and the roadmap to the future.

Leader praises Tunisia’s anti-Israel stance

The Leader also held a meeting with the visiting Tunisian President Kais Saied.

Ayatollah Khamenei welcomed the renewal of relations between Iran and Tunisia, facilitated by Saied’s visit to Iran.

He underscored that the presence of a virtuous and academic figure like Saied at the helm of Tunisia presents an opportunity for the country to enhance its international standing after years of despotic rule and isolation from the Islamic world.

Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the 2011 Tunisian protests that triggered a wave of movements across North Africa and remarked on the Tunisian nation’s significant potential for progress and advancement.

He expressed hope that Saied’s prudence would foster unity among Tunisians from all walks of life, laying the groundwork for further progress.

Ayatollah Khamenei also commended Saied’s stance against Israel, stating that such positions should be promoted within the Arab world and that steadfastness and perseverance are the only avenues to success.

In the meeting, President Saied conveyed condolences from the government and people of Tunisia over the tragic loss of President Raeisi, saying he and the late president had planned to meet in Tehran soon.

The Tunisian president, referring to the shared intent of both countries to broaden relations in all areas, expressed hope that by pursuing the agreements, the expansion of cooperation would materialize in practice.

President Saied also addressed the ongoing crisis in Gaza, saying the Islamic world must abandon its current passive stance and actively seek to vindicate the rights of the Palestinian people across all Palestinian territories and push for the establishment of an independent state with al-Quds as its capital.

“Today, the global human society has outpaced the international community, with people in various countries uniting against the oppression and atrocities in Gaza.

‘Gaza's successful resistance realization of divine promise’

Later in the day, Ayatollah Khamenei met with the visiting head of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas’ Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh and his accompanying delegation.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei (R) and Iranian Acting President Mohammad Mokhber (L) meet with Hamas’ Political Bureau Chief Ismail Haniyeh in Tehran on May 22, 2024. (Photo by

The Palestinian official condoled with the Leader as well as the Iranian government and nation over the martyrdom of President Raeisi and his companions.

Ayatollah Khamenei reciprocally condoled with Haniyeh over the martyrdom of three of his sons and three of his grandchildren in an Israeli airstrike against the Gaza Strip last month and praised the Hamas official’s patience.

The Leader pointed to the October-present genocidal war that the Israeli regime has been waging against Gaza, noting that the extraordinary resistance that has been put up by the people of the coastal sliver has been source of wonder for the people of the entire world.

“Who would have believed that one day, people would chant pro-Palestinian slogans and raise the Palestinian flag at the United States’ universities?” Ayatollah Khamenei asked, referring to ongoing protests against the Israeli war across the American schools.

“In the future too, it is possible that some things may happen concerning the issue of Palestine that are not believable today,” the Leader said.

Ayatollah Khamenei described the Gazans’ successful resistance in the face of a “large and powerful group” comprising the United States, the Western military alliance of NATO, the United Kingdom, and some other countries as the realization of a divine promise regarding the people of Palestine.

“Accordingly, the second [divine] promise, namely annihilation of the Zionist regime, can be realized too,” the Leader noted. “By divine grace, the day when Palestine would be established from ‘the sea’ to ‘the river’ would arrive too,” Ayatollah Khamenei added in reference to the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

The Leader insisted that Acting President Mokhber would keep up exercising late President Raeisi’s policies concerning the issue of Palestine with the same “impetus and spirit.”

Ayatollah Khamenei insisted that Acting President Mokhber would keep up exercising late President Raeisi’s policies concerning the issue of Palestine with the same “impetus and spirit.”

Leader praises Lebanon’s resistance against Israeli regime

Meeting with Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, the Leader expressed gratitude towards Beirut for announcing public mourning following Raeisi and his companions’ martyrdom.

Ayatollah Khamenei described the Islamic Republic’s relationship with the Lebanese people as “brotherly.”

The Leader praised the struggle that has been put up by the Lebanese resistance against the Israeli regime amid the dire situation that faces Gaza.

Berri, for his part, expressed intense sadness and grief on behalf of the Lebanese government and nation over the tragic accident involving President Raeisi and his companions.

Addressing the regional situation, the senior parliamentarian said Lebanon could not stay silent vis-à-vis the slaughter of the people of Gaza.

He also described the primary condition for the transformation of the current regional situation as cessation of the ongoing war against Gaza.

Underlining continued attention towards expansion of Iran-Armenia ties

Ayatollah Khamenei also met with Armenia’s visiting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, noting that Tehran would keep pursuing its policy of expanding its ties with Yerevan under Acting President Mokhber.

“Iran and Armenia’s relations have some opponents,” the Leader, however, said, stressing that the issue of the bilateral relations be, therefore, addressed with “attention and care.”

Late President Raeisi used to be “greatly sensitive” towards the border issues that concerned Armenia, Ayatollah Khamenei stated, urging that the matter still be addressed with the same level of sensitivity.

For his part, the Armenian premier noted that his country had been “shocked” by hearing about the tragic accident involving the late Iranian chief executive, but expressed certainty that the Islamic Republic’s affairs would be addressed without any disruption under Ayatollah Khamenei’s directions and leadership.

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