Thousands Mourn Iran President Raisi, FM And 6 Others In Funeral Procession After Chopper Crash (WATCH)

(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) Thousands of Iranians on Tuesday solemnly marched through the streets to honour the funeral procession of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six members of his entourage who tragically perished in a helicopter crash.

With Iranian flags and portraits of the late president in hand, the mourners commenced their procession from a central square in the northwestern city of Tabriz, the destination Raisi was en route to when the fatal accident occurred on Sunday.

The Iranian government has scheduled several days of mourning, culminating in a funeral later this week for the 63-year-old ultraconservative cleric, who was previously considered a possible successor to the current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

Later today, the remains of the victims will be transported to the revered Shiite city of Qom, where a significant number of Iran's clerical elite receive their training, before being brought to the capital, Tehran.

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According to Mohsen Mansouri, the head of the funeral planning committee and Iran's vice president of executive affairs, large ceremonies are planned in Tehran's enormous Grand Mosallah
Mosque on Wednesday.

Mansouri has declared a nationwide public holiday and the closure of offices to facilitate processions on that day.

Following this, Raisi's body will be transported to the historic Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad, where prayers will be led by Ayatollah Khamenei, as reported by Mehr News.

Ebrahim Raisi, who assumed Iran's presidency in 2021, was widely seen as a staunch ally of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. He clinched the presidency with a significant margin in the 2021 elections, despite a voter turnout of less than 50% following the disqualification of numerous moderate candidates.

The death of Raisi, along with other top officials such as the country's foreign minister, has cast a shadow of uncertainty over the future of Iran's hardline establishment. This comes as the nation grapples with escalating regional tensions and internal discontent.

The cause of the crash remains unknown, as does the reason for the presence of numerous senior Iranian government officials aboard a single, decades-old helicopter.

Immediately after Raisi's helicopter lost contact on Sunday night, Turkey reported monitoring for any signals from the aircraft but was unable to detect anything.

“We immediately contacted the Iranian side. They also contacted us, but unfortunately it was seen that the signal system was either turned off or the helicopter did not have the signal system,” said Turkish Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Abdulkadir Uraloglu, according to Turkish state broadcaster TRT.

There was uncertainty regarding whether Uraloglu's reference was to the helicopter's transponder, a standard feature on most aircraft.

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When questioned about the potential for sabotage, Uraloglu stated that it was premature to speculate, indicating that initial assessments pointed towards an accident possibly caused by foggy weather conditions.

On Monday, Iranian media disclosed that the nation's military chief had formed a commission to probe the crash, comprising military and technical specialists.

A senior delegation is slated to visit the crash site in Eastern Azerbaijan, as reported by Iran's Tasnim news agency.


AsiaNet News

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