US To Boycott UN Tribute To Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Killed In Helicopter Crash

"The United Nations should be standing with the people of Iran, not memoralising their decades-long oppressor," the US official said.

Late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi | Photo: X

The United States will boycott a United Nations tribute on Thursday to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash earlier this month, a US official said.

"We won't attend this event in any capacity," the US official told Reuters.

The 193-member United Nations General Assembly traditionally gets together to pay tribute to any world leader who a sitting head of the state at the time of their demise. The tribute will witness speeches about Raisi.

The Iranian President along with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and other senior officials died after their helicopter crashed in the northwestern part of the country on May 19.

Raisi, 63, was elected president in 2021. Since assuming office, he enforced stricter morality laws, overseen a violent suppression of anti-government demonstrations, and engaged in intense nuclear negotiations with world powers.

Notably, Iran's mission to the United Nations in New York had declined to comment on the US' decision to boycott the tribute.

"The United Nations should be standing with the people of Iran, not memoralising their decades-long oppressor," the US official was further quoted as saying by Reuters.

The official added that the Iranian state head was involved in "numerous, horrific human rights abuses, including the extrajudicial killings of thousands of political prisoners n 1988".

The US official said that some of the worst violation of human rights, as in abuses on record, specifically against Iranian women and girls, took place during Raisi's tenure.

The UN Security Council had notably on May 20, stood in silence at the beginning of an unrelated meeting in remembrance of the crash victims. Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood had also hesitantly stood with his counterparts.

The United States had expressed its official condolences for Raisi's passing, the State Department had said. The same day, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby also said, "No question this was a man who had a lot of blood on his hands."

Some Republican members of the Congress had strongly criticised US President Joe Biden for offering condolences to Iran.

Following Raisi's death, Vice President Mohammed Mokhber was named as the interim head of the state. The country will hold an election within 50 days to replace Raisi.