Iran says backing for Palestinian ‘resistance’ unaffected by Raisi’s death

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani says the death of president Ebrahim Raisi will not change the country’s level of support for Palestinian groups fighting Israel and will not affect efforts to reach a deal with the US to lift sanctions.

Support for “the oppressed people of Palestine and resistance groups [pursuing] the unalienable rights of the Palestinians to the liberation of their land and standing against the usurping Zionist regime” will carry on as usual, Kanaani says at a press briefing. “Supporting the Palestinian nation is a moral duty and an international responsibility.”

“There has been no change in the approach or the structure of our indirect talks [with the US] within the framework of negotiations to remove unfair sanctions. We will continue diplomatic effort within the same framework and with the same approach,” he adds.

While Raisi was Iran’s highest elected official, the country’s policy is largely set by its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Meanwhile, Iran’s acting President Mohammad Mokhber praises Raisi for keeping Iran’s economy stable even as the country launched military strikes against Israel, Pakistan and Iraq, in his first public speech since last week’s helicopter crash that killed his predecessor and seven others.

“Three countries were hit. We hit Israel, people find that figures and indexes are the same in the morning when they wake up, price of hard currency is the same, inflation is the same, liquidity is the same and the market is full of people’s needs,” Mokhber claims. “This strength, this settlement and this power is not a usual thing, they all were because of guidance by the supreme leader and the sincere efforts of Ayatollah Raisi.”

The Iranian rial has tumbled from a rate of 32,000 rials to $1 at the time of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Today, it stands around 580,000 to $1 in the wake of the US’s unilateral withdrawal from the accord and a series of attacks on shipping in the Mideast, first attributed to Iran and later involving Yemen’s Houthi rebels as Israel’s war against Hamas on the Gaza Strip began over seven months ago.

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