Blinken says Iranians ‘probably better off’ without president Raisi

(MENAFN) United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has suggested that the Iranian people are "probably better off" without President Ebrahim Raisi, who died along with several senior officials in a helicopter crash on Sunday. Blinken made these comments while defending the State Department's decision to offer condolences for Raisi's death, insisting that the gesture was purely formal.

On Monday, the State Department issued an official statement expressing condolences for Raisi's death and reaffirming Washington's support for the Iranian people's pursuit of human rights and fundamental freedoms. However, this move faced criticism during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Tuesday.

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) criticized the administration for mourning the death of what he called a "sworn enemy of the free world." Blinken responded by explaining that offering condolences is a standard diplomatic practice, even when adversarial nations lose their leaders. "We expressed official condolences as we’ve done when countries – adversaries, enemies or not – have lost leaders," Blinken said. He emphasized that this act of diplomacy did not change the United State's stance on Raisi's reprehensible actions, including his long-term repression of the Iranian people.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) pressed Blinken further, inquiring if he believed the world was better off without Raisi. Blinken replied affirmatively, pointing to Raisi's history of committing "horrible acts" both as a judge and as president. "Given the horrible acts that he engaged in, both as a judge and as president, to the extent that he can no longer engage in them, yes, the Iranian people are probably better off," Blinken concluded.

The discussion highlighted the complexity of diplomatic protocols and the balancing act of addressing humanitarian concerns while maintaining formalities with international leaders, even those with contentious legacies.



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