Ali Khamenei leads prayers at Ebrahim Raisi’s funeral as thousands of Iranian mourners fill Tehran’s streets | World News

Countless mournful individuals participated in the procession for the late Iranian president and those who perished alongside him in a tragic helicopter accident.

The unexpected demise of President Ebrahim Raisi occurred on Sunday near the Azerbaijan border, taking the lives of seven others during the incident.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, solemnly presided over the prayer services for the deceased at Tehran University.

The final resting boxes, covered in national colors and adorned with portraits, included that of former Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

Atop the coffin holding the late president, a symbolic black turban was placed, denoting his lineage to the Prophet Muhammad.

“Oh Allah, all we knew of him was goodness,” uttered Mr. Khamenei, offering the customary Islamic funeral prayer in Arabic.

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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei leading the prayer over the flag-covered coffins. Pic: AP

Tears were shed by the acting president of Iran, Mohammad Mokhber, as he grieved during the ceremony.

The coffins, lifted high upon the shoulders of people, moved amidst chants of “death to America” from outside.

The procession wound through Tehran’s central streets to Azadi Square, a place where Mr. Raisi previously addressed the populace.

High-ranking officials of Iran’s influential paramilitary Revolutionary Guard were also present.

Mourners attend the funeral for victims of helicopter crash that killed Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and others, in Tehran.
Pic: WANA/Reuters
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Thousands of mourners gathered in Tehran’s streets. Pic: WANA/Reuters

Gathered at the memorial was Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, indicating Iran’s support for the faction within the Israel-Palestine dispute in Gaza.

The body of Mr. Raisi will be transported to his hometown of Mashhad in the east for burial the following day.

This period of mourning comes as Iran’s government plans an expedited election, seeking political stability amid public unrest.

With citizens disenchanted with previous elections, including a low 41% turnout in 2021, authorities face the task of engaging voters for the upcoming June 28 election to choose Mr. Raisi’s successor.

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