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US State Department, NATO, UN criticized for offering condolences to Iran over dead ‘Butcher of Tehran’

Said Biden, "This is also a good opportunity to express our sadness of Osama Bin Laden's passing. He will be deeply missed".

US State Department, NATO, UN criticized for offering condolences to Iran over dead ‘Butcher of Tehran’

By Caitlin Doornbos, NY Post

Published May 20, 2024, 4:32 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration was slammed Monday for offering its sympathies to the Iranian people over the deaths of the oppressive theocracy’s president and foreign minister in a weekend helicopter crash.

“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,” the State Department said in an emailed statement on Monday.

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

The supportive message repulsed many who follow US-Iran relations, including commentator Katie Pavlich, who said the statement “made no sense.”

“Expressing condolences for the man … who murdered and violently harassed the Iranian people, that State claims they support,” she wrote on X. “What?”

“There should be no word of sympathy from any member of the Biden administration for Raisi,” former National Security Council official Richard Goldberg, now a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Post before the State Department statement came out.

“If a mass murderer in the United States died, no one would issue sympathy statements; they would issue statements of support for the victims. That’s exactly what we should be doing now.”

Around the same time the State Department’s message went out, US Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Robert Wood stood to observe a moment of silence for Raisi during a meeting of the UN Security Council.

Israeli commentators were aghast at Wood’s action, with analyst Eitan Fischberger calling it “profoundly shameful” and Ynet correspondent Emily Schrader declaring: “The UN is applauding modern day Goebbels.”

About six hours earlier, NATO faced fierce backlash online after posting a similar message of sympathy.

“Our condolences to the people of #Iran for the death of President Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian, and others who perished in the helicopter crash,” NATO Spokesperson Farah Dakhlallah wrote on X.

The tone-deaf condolence received more than 3,500 replies in English and Arabic from users, many of whom demanded that Dakhallah be fired over the message.

“Are you kidding me? If this is an authentic NATO spokesperson account it raises serious questions about what NATO actually stands for,” wrote Christina Pushaw, former rapid response director for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 2024 presidential campaign. “I say this as someone who has supported NATO, in general.”

Former longtime CNN Pentagon reporter Barbara Starr was also incredulous, tagging NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenburg in her response: “Official @NATO condolences on death of Raisi specifically? Really? Full alliance consensus on this? @JensStoltenburg.”

Not to be outdone, US Senate chaplain Barry Black opened Monday’s session by requesting divine intercession “for the Iranian people who mourn the death of their president.”

Moments later, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delivered a pointed response.

“I too would like to extend my condolences to the people of Iran for their long suffering under the brutal, theocratic rule of the Islamic Republic,” he said. “I suspect a great many Iranians would rather Western admirers stop lionizing a man known as the ‘Butcher of Tehran’ for executing political prisoners. They might prefer that foreign leaders not further legitimize the regime that actively represses all of them.”

As McConnell referenced, Raisi oversaw mass executions of political prisoners in the 1980s, as well as the deadly 2022 crackdown on young Iranians protesting against the treatment of women in the Islamic Republic.

In the hours after Raisi’s death was confirmed, social media was flooded with videos of Iranians and members of the country’s diaspora cheering and toasting the tyrant’s death.

The crash’s cause has yet to be determined, though the Iranian government has denied involvement in orchestrating the fatal incident, and there has been no intelligence to indicate foul play.

Iran has been a key player in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, an Iranian proxy terrorist group that killed more than 1,200 people — including 33 Americans — in a brutal attack on Oct. 7.

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