Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Laid to Rest in Mashhad

Thu May 23 2024
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TEHRAN: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was laid to rest on Thursday, concluding days of funeral rites attended by tens of thousands of mourners after his death along with companions in a tragic helicopter crash, state media reported.

Tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets on Thursday to bid farewell to President Ebrahim Raisi ahead of his burial in his home town.

Raisi, 63, died on Sunday alongside his foreign minister and six others when their helicopter crashed in the country’s mountainous northwest while returning from a dam inauguration.

Tens of thousands of Iranians poured onto the streets of Mashhad and Birjand to bid a somber farewell to Raisi. The nation mourned as Raisi’s body made its final journey to his hometown for burial, accompanied by a sea of mourners clad in black chadors and carrying white flowers.

Tens of Thousands Bid Farewell to Iranian President Raisi Ahead of Burial 1

The procession in Mashhad, Raisi’s birthplace and the second-largest city in Iran, saw men and women paying homage to the late president, hailing him as the “man of the battlefield.”

The streets of Mashhad were lined with posters of Raisi, black flags, and religious symbols, leading to his final resting place at the Imam Reza shrine. Similar scenes were witnessed in Birjand, the capital of the eastern province of South Khorasan, where thousands lined the streets to honor Raisi, who was their representative in the Assembly of Experts.

Iranian officials and foreign dignitaries paid their respects to the late top diplomat at a ceremony in Tehran ahead of the burial.

Massive crowds had gathered for a funeral procession in the Iranian capital on Wednesday to pay their final respects to the president, whom officials and media dubbed a “martyr”.

Tens of Thousands Bid Farewell to Iranian President Raisi Ahead of Burial

Meanwhile, the funeral proceedings also mark the final farewell to Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian, who will be laid to rest at the shrine of Shah Abdol-Azim in Shahr-Rey, south of the capital.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who led prayers for Raisi in Tehran, declared five days of national mourning. Foreign dignitaries, including Tunisian President Kais Saied and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, among others, attended the ceremonies.

Member countries of the European Union were among the absentees of the ceremony, while some non-member countries, including Belarus and Serbia, had representatives.

Khamenei assigned vice president Mohammad Mokhber, 68, as caretaker president until a June 28 election for Raisi’s successor.

A presidential election in Iran had not been expected until next year, and the crash has caused some uncertainty as to who will succeed Raisi, with some expressing concern about the upcoming president.

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