Thousands pay their respects to late Iranian President

KUWAIT CITY – Funeral events for Iran’s president and foreign minister got underway Tuesday with a procession on the streets of the northwestern city of Tabriz as investigators launched a probe into the helicopter crash that killed them.

President Ebrahim Raisi was killed Sunday in the crash in mountainous terrain near the Azerbaijan border along with eight other people, including Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian.

Thousands of mourners lined the streets of Tabriz, the closest large city to the site of the crash, to kick off a three-day funeral for the 63-year-old hardline cleric who had been seen as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

Khamenei announced five days of mourning for the fallen president.

Iran’s official IRNA news agency showed footage of black-clad mourners surrounding a truck carrying the flag-draped coffins of Raisi and the other victims.

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahdidi spoke at a ceremony before the procession, state-owned Mers news agency reported, saying the country mourned the death of a “beloved, popular and humble president.”

“We had a bad landing in this matter, but we will have a brilliant rise,” Vahidi said.

On Tuesday afternoon, the bodies of the victims will be moved to Qom, a pilgrimage site and holy city for Shiite Muslims, and then on to Tehran in the evening.

Public prayers and a procession will be held in Tehran on Wednesday, which has been declared a public holiday. Foreign dignitaries will be on hand for a ceremony honouring the victims in the afternoon, according to IRNA, although a list of attendees has not yet been released.

Raisi’s funeral and burial will take place on Thursday in his home city of Mashhad.

State media has said the crash of the decades-old Bell 212 helicopter was due to “technical failure,” while the Iranian military announced that it had launched an investigation and sent a team to the site. (UPI)

The post Thousands pay their respects to late Iranian President appeared first on

Leave a Reply