Funerary procession to be held for late Iran president Raisi in Tabriz

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Funerary procession to be held for late Iran president Raisi in Tabriz

Tehran, MAY 21: Iranians gathered Tuesday to mourn President Ebrahim Raisi in Tabriz. He died unexpectedly in a helicopter crash.

The helicopter lost communication on its way back to Tabriz. Raisi attended a dam inauguration with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev.

A massive search and rescue operation started Sunday. Two other helicopters in Raisi’s convoy lost contact with his aircraft.

State TV announced his death early Monday. It called Raisi “the servant of the Iranian nation” and showed pictures with a Koran recitation.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, provincial authorities, and Raisi’s security team also died in the crash.

Iran’s military chief of staff Mohammad Bagheri ordered a probe into the crash.

International condolences poured in after Raisi’s death. People in cities gathered to mourn the late president and his companions.

Thousands of mourners held portraits of Raisi at Valiasr Square in Tehran on Monday.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared five days of national mourning. He assigned Vice President Mohammad Mokhber as interim president.

The presidential election will be held on June 28. Ali Bagheri will serve as the acting foreign minister.

Raisi’s body will be taken to Qom on Tuesday and then to Tehran. Khamenei will hold prayers at a farewell ceremony in Tehran on Tuesday night.

Major processions will begin Wednesday morning. Raisi will be taken to Southern Khorasan province on Thursday morning and buried in Mashhad on Thursday evening.

Raisi, 63, had been in office since 2021. His term saw mass protests, an economic crisis due to US sanctions, and tensions with Israel.

He succeeded moderate Hassan Rouhani. The economy was struggling due to US sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program.

Condolences came from Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria. These groups are part of the “axis of resistance” against Israel.

Middle East tensions were high due to the Gaza conflict. Iran launched missiles and drones at Israel in April.

This was in response to an air strike blamed on Israel that destroyed Tehran’s Damascus consulate.

Raisi emphasized Iran’s support for Palestinians in a speech before his death. Palestinian flags were raised with Iranian flags in ceremonies for Raisi.