‘Respect for fog’: Anna Eskamani welcomes death of Iranian President
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 12/14/22-Rep. Anna V. Eskamani, D-Orlando, during session Wednesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

'Iranians who cry for freedom are celebrating across the world.'

State Rep. Anna Eskamani, an Iranian American, welcomed news of a helicopter crash killing Iran’s President.

The Associated Press confirmed the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and several others on board. “I have so much respect for fog now,” she posted on X. “More than ever.”

Eskamani greeted the news as a positive development for the people of Iran in a more formal post.

“Iranians who cry for freedom are celebrating across the world with this news,” she wrote. “Truly a terrible person that has facilitated the killing, torture, and pain of so many. The people of Iran deserve freedom and so much better than the oppressive regime they live under. Zan, Zendegi and Azadi today and everyday.”

The news was confirmed in Iran on May 20, Eskamani’s birthday.

The crash comes as the Middle East remains unsettled by the Israel-Hamas war, during which Raisi, who was 63, under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei launched an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel just last month.

Khamenei announced Monday that Iran’s First Vice President, Mohammad Mokhber, would serve as the country’s Acting President until elections are held.

During Raisi’s term in office, Iran enriched uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels, further escalating tensions with the West as Tehran also supplied bomb-carrying drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine and armed militia groups across the region.

Meanwhile, Iran has faced years of mass protests against its Shiite theocracy over the ailing economy and women’s rights — making the moment that much more sensitive for Tehran and the future of the country.

Aircraft in Iran face a shortage of parts, often flying without safety checks against the backdrop of Western sanctions. Because of that, former Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sought to blame the United States for the crash in an interview Monday.

“One of the main culprits of yesterday’s tragedy is the United States, which … embargoed the sale of aircraft and aviation parts to Iran and does not allow the people of Iran to enjoy good aviation facilities,” Zarif said. “These will be recorded in the list of U.S. crimes against the Iranian people.”

The Orlando Democrat, a Florida native, is the daughter of Iranian immigrants and the first Iranian American elected to the Florida Legislature or to any public office in Florida.

She has also been involved for years in promoting democracy and women’s rights in Iran.

In her post, she employed the phrase “Zan, Zendegi, Azadi,” a slogan rallying global support for women, life and freedom in Iran.

Raisi was elected in 2021. Iran under his leadership launched a missile attack on Israel in mid-April. That drew condemnation from Florida politicians.

At the time, Eskamani voiced concerns the attack would escalate the Middle East into a regional war, with violent conflict between Israel and Hamas ongoing.

“This is incredibly scary. Praying for the safety of innocent people and advocating for immediate de-escalation and ceasefire,” she posted then. “We do not need more wars. Period.”

The Orlando Democrat wasn’t alone in hailing Raisi’s death as a positive development.

“If Raisi is dead, the world is now a safer and better place,” posted U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, a Naples Republican, shortly before Iranian state media confirmed the world leader’s death.

“That evil man was a tyrant and terrorist. He was not loved or respected and he will be missed by no one. If he’s gone, I truly hope the Iranian people have the chance to take their country back from murderous dictators.”

In the midst of Eskamani’s re-election campaign in 2022, she drew attention to the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old women’s rights activist arrested by Iran’s morality police for wearing a hijab improperly.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mahsa Amini. The dangerous and misogynistic ‘morality police’ have targeted and tortured Iranians and especially Iranian women for far too long,” she said in a statement at the time.

She also shared about her activism in Iran.

“My first visit to Iran was in 2005 to bring my Mom’s ashes to the Caspian Sea, and even as a 14-year-old I was harassed by the police for showing too much wrist. It’s absolutely absurd that in 2022, women anywhere in the world must fear their lives for not meeting a government mandated dress code.”


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Ocean Joe

    May 20, 2024 at 8:18 am

    Glad somebody understands the horrendous existence of life under a theocratic fundamentalist Islamic government. If there is a God, I thank you for the fog and the trees. May the memory of the young woman beaten to death by Iran’s religious police for failing to wear a head cover live on.

    Meanwhile, let those who love Hamas and disrupt graduations here to make their opposition known, understand history.
    We firebombed Dresden and turned it into glass. We killed every man, woman, child, dog, and cat near it. 25,000 perished. The Germans ignited a world war killing millions and we ended it.

    We alone among nations have used nuclear weapons, on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, melting between 129 and 226,000 souls and causing unbelievable suffering among those who survived.

    War is an ugly, horrible condition. Do not start one.

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 20, 2024 at 10:20 am

      If Trump gets back in, we’ll all have firsthand knowledge through our own experiences living life under a theocratic fundamentalist Islamic Abrahamic government.

      As Abrahamic religions, Islam Judisam and Christianity are all basically the same bunch of nonsense with some names changed to protect the Toof Hairy.

      Folks protesting for the human right of the humans living in Palestine probably would have protested Dresden, Nagasaki and Hiroshima too. Previous evils do not excuse current ones.

      • rick whitaker

        May 20, 2024 at 4:36 pm

        DSF , very good comment. you did right by replacing OJ’S word, islamic, with abrahamic. i hate all religions equally. of course the two religions up in my face, is judism and christianity. one of my best friends here in east tennessee is a palistinian born man that came here in 1950, he also hates religion.

  • Bill Pollard

    May 20, 2024 at 10:05 am

    I don’t blame Anna for what she said. This man was responsible for horrible deeds. Those running Iran have no respect for basic human rights.

  • Andrew Finn

    May 22, 2024 at 10:04 pm

    President of Iran killed in helicopter crash ?? Well that’s a good start !!!! Don’t ya just love a nice feel good story ??

  • rick whitaker

    May 23, 2024 at 4:21 pm

    ANDREW FINN, religion is bad, so when a theocratic leader dies, that’s a good day. i’m waiting on nutinyahoo’s plane to take a purposeful nosedive. trump, while not religious, has the most dangerous group in our country behind him, the jews and the christians. those kissing cousins are the most dangerous force on the earth.

  • 🌞

    May 25, 2024 at 3:45 pm

    Not much freedom in this world in any species.
    Humans have certain rights.
    Freedom what is her definition on that word. We call it breaking chains of hard labor enslaved

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704