India observed a day of national mourning on May 21, 2024, to honor the memory of the late Iranian officials
Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar paid tributes to Late President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, Late Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other Iranian officials in Tehran on Wednesday (May 22, 2024). 

Vice-President Dhankhar also met Acting President of Iran Mohammad Mokhber and conveyed his condolences. 

He arrived in the Islamic Republic of Iran earlier in the day to attend the official ceremony commemorating the tragic demise of Iranian President Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian, and other officials who perished in a helicopter crash on May 19, 2024. 

The unfortunate accident occurred when President Raisi’s helicopter, returning from a border ceremony near Azerbaijan, crashed into a fog-shrouded mountainside in northwestern Iran. The incident sparked a massive search and rescue operation, with assistance from international entities, including the European Union, Russia, and Turkey. The crash site was eventually located early Monday, marking the beginning of a period of national mourning in Iran.

Upon his arrival in Tehran, Vice-President Dhankhar was warmly received by Iranian authorities. The Indian Vice-President's visit is seen as a gesture of goodwill and respect, reflecting the close ties between India and Iran. Dhankhar is expected to participate in various memorial services and extend India’s condolences to the Iranian leadership and the families of the deceased.

President of India Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have already conveyed their heartfelt condolences to the Iranian government and its people. Additionally, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in New Delhi on May 21, 2024, to formally express the nation's sorrow over the tragic loss.

India observed a day of national mourning on May 21, 2024, to honour the memory of the late Iranian officials. Flags were flown at half-mast, and official functions were suspended as a mark of respect. This gesture of solidarity highlights the deep diplomatic and cultural ties that have been nurtured between India and Iran over the years.

The crash has not only shocked Iran but has also reverberated across the region, prompting visits from several foreign dignitaries. Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani arrived in Tehran to participate in the funeral services. Kuwait's Foreign Minister Abdullah Ali al-Yahya also attended the ceremonies on behalf of the Kuwaiti Emir, further emphasizing the widespread impact of this tragic event.

The deaths of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian have also delayed critical diplomatic engagements. Talks between Iran and the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), have been temporarily paused. According to news reports, IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi, speaking from Helsinki, expressed respect for Iran’s mourning period and conveyed intentions to resume discussions once the official mourning ends.

In the wake of President Raisi’s demise, Mohammad Mokhber, the former first vice president of Iran, has been appointed as the interim president. The elections to appoint a new president are scheduled for June 28, 2024, marking a critical juncture in Iran’s political landscape.

As India and Iran navigate this period of mourning, the visit by Vice-President Dhankhar serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring friendship and mutual respect between the two nations. The global response to this tragedy protrudes the interconnected nature of today’s world, where the loss of a leader reverberates far beyond national borders.