‘I lost a good friend’- Museveni Extols Late Iranian President Raisi as a Unifying Figure and Remarkably Dedicated Leader

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President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has described the fallen President of Iran, H.E Ebrahim Raisi as a unifier and a dedicated person.

The President made the remarks yeaterday at the Iranian Embassy in Kampala while mourning H.E Raisi who died on 19 May 2024 along with Iran Foreign Minister, Dr. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and several other officials after his helicopter crashed near the village of Uzi in East Azerbaijan province.

H.E Raisi and other top government officials were returning from the inauguration of the Qiz- Qalasi Dam, a joint Iran-Azerbaijan project on the Aras transboundary border river.

“When His Excellency visited us recently, I could see that he was a very dedicated person but also a unifier. You remember we finished our meeting at Entebbe quite late, but he insisted on going at night to see the projects Iran had done here in the suburbs. Then from there, he went to Old Kampala Mosque. He is a Shia, but he went to the mosque of the Sunnis and while there he found our Archbishop because of the Inter Religious Council and we don’t believe in sectarianism. This showed two things; first of all, his dedication and his belief in the unity of the people,” he said.

President Museveni with the late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during his visit to Uganda

President Museveni noted that it was a big shock when he heard about the death of H.E. Raisi.

“I have been following him travelling to many places like Venezuela, Pakistan, India, Russia and other countries. He was a very active person,” he said.

“You should put that picture where he was with the Mufti and the Archbishop on social media. It is very important; it’s a legacy for His Excellency, Raisi. May his Soul Rest In Eternal Peace.”
President Museveni also assured the people of Iran that the people of Uganda were with them in this trying moment and promised that the East African country would continue working with them for the betterment of the two countries.

“As I have written in the book here, we have been dealing with Iranian leaders ever since we came into government,” he noted.

President Museveni (R) with the Iranian Ambassador to Uganda H.E Majid Saffar

In his remarks, H.E Majid Saffar, the Ambassador of Iran to Uganda thanked President Museveni for the gesture, describing it as a testament to the deep bonds of friendship and solidarity between Uganda and Iran

“We extend our deepest gratitude to you, Your Excellency, for standing with us during this time of remembrance and reflection. Your support means a great deal to the Iranian people. May the memories of our martyrs inspire us to work together for a brighter and more peaceful future,” Ambassador Majid said.

He further described the tragic loss of two remarkable leaders; President Raisi and Dr. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as something that has left their nation in deep mourning and sorrow.

“This tragic incident has taken from us some of our most dedicated and visionary leaders. President Raisi was a dedicated politician, widely respected for his tireless efforts to foster good neighbourliness, build confidence, and promote dialogue within the region and beyond. His commitment to peace, stability, and development was unwavering. His leadership and vision have left an indelible mark on our nation’s path, and his legacy will forever inspire us,” Ambassador Majid noted.

He further described Dr. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as a distinguished diplomat, highly regarded for his contributions to regional diplomacy and international cooperation.

“His principles of good neighbourliness resonated far beyond our borders, promoting harmony and understanding in a complex world. His absence leaves a void that cannot be easily filled, but his diplomatic achievements will continue to guide us in our foreign policy endeavours,” H.E Majid added.

On the other hand, the Ambassador informed President Museveni and mourners that in honour of their service and sacrifice, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran has declared five days of national mourning where the nation shall reflect the unwavering dedication and the profound impact of their work.

“We remember them not only as prominent figures but as symbols of resilience, diplomacy, and commitment to our great nation,” he said.

According to the Iranian Constitution, the First Vice-President, H.E. Mohammad Mokhber, has since assumed the duties of the President until a new election is held within a maximum of 50 days. Additionally, Mr. Ali Bagheri Kani, the Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, has been appointed as the acting Foreign Minister, ensuring the continuity of leadership during this time.

In attendance was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Vincent Bagiire Waiswa, among other officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Iranian Embassy.

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