Rouhani offers condolences over death of Jacques Chirac

September 28, 2019 - 11:8

TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani sent a message on Thursday to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron offering condolences to the French people and government over the death of Jacques Chirac, the former French president.

“I offer condolences over the death of Mr. Jacques Chirac, the former president of France, and wish success and prosperity for your government and nation,” Rouhani said in his message to Macron. 

Chirac, who championed the European Union, died on Thursday at the age of 86.

Chirac served two terms as president and twice as prime minister, and took France into the single European currency.

Macron hailed Chirac as a "great Frenchman". The French National Assembly observed a minute's silence in his memory.

Chirac was a fierce opponent of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. His strong opposition to the war on Iraq infuriated Washington to the extent that then White House national security advisor Condoleezza Rice famously said in spring of 2003 that Washington should "punish France”.

In a televised address from the Elysee Palace, Macron mourned his death, calling him a president who "embodied a certain idea of France".

"We French have lost a statesman whom we loved as much as he loved us," Macron said, according to the BBC. "Whether we share, or not, his ideas or what he fought for, we all recognize ourselves in this man who resembled us, and brought us together."
Macron's office said a national day of mourning will take place on Monday.