Lebanon, Syria begin 3 days of mourning over deaths of Iran president, FM

FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi attends a TV interview, in Tehran

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon and Syria on Monday announced three days of national mourning for the Iranian president and foreign minister, who were killed in a helicopter crash overnight near the Azerbaijan border.

Iran enjoys sway in both countries, backing the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah in Lebanon and supporting Syria's government and security forces stay in power throughout more than a decade of war.

"I can't tell you how sorry I am about this incident that happened. Especially that the foreign minister had become a friend," Lebanon's Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib told reporters on Monday.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, as well as other Lebanese officials and Hezbollah, offered their condolences for the deaths.

(Reporting by Maya Gebeily; Editing by Gareth Jones and Sharon Singleton)