Home News Iran Supreme Leader, Hamas Leader, Others Attend Funeral Of President Raisi And Officials Killed In Helicopter Crash
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Iran Supreme Leader, Hamas Leader, Others Attend Funeral Of President Raisi And Officials Killed In Helicopter Crash

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President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian
NBC News

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, led prayers over the coffins of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and other high-ranking officials killed in a helicopter crash earlier this week.

Hundreds of mourners participated in a funeral procession down Tehran’s main boulevard. However, the turnout was noticeably smaller than that of the 2020 procession for Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani, killed in a U.S. drone strike.

Wednesday’s ceremony saw significant attendance from outside Tehran, suggesting a little reception within the capital for Raisi, whose presidency was marked by low voter turnout and stringent crackdowns on dissent, including the protests following the 2022 death of Mahsa Amini.

Iran has announced that the next presidential election will be held on June 28, with no clear successor yet among the political elite.

Gholamhossein Esmaili, who was in one of the accompanying helicopters, told state TV that the aircraft lost contact after entering heavy clouds.

Despite subsequent efforts to track the helicopter, including requests for assistance from Turkey and the U.S., the crash site was only found with the help of a Turkish drone. Esmaili indicated that the victims, except for one who survived briefly, died immediately upon impact.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh attended the prayers, showing Iran’s ongoing support for militant groups in the region.

This comes shortly after the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor announced plans to seek an arrest warrant for Haniyeh and other Hamas leaders for their roles in the October 7 attack on Israel, which left 1,200 Israelis dead and 250 taken hostage.

The ICC is also pursuing charges against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for actions during the ensuing conflict, which has resulted in significant Palestinian casualties.

The event was attended by representatives from Hezbollah and the Houthis, along with politicians from the Middle East and beyond, including leaders from Iraq, Pakistan, Qatar, Tunisia, and Egypt.

Mourners expressed grief and solidarity during the procession with chants of “Death to Israel!” and “Death to America!”

Despite the official mourning, some Iranians remained indifferent or even hopeful about Raisi’s death, reflecting his controversial tenure. Heavy security was visible throughout Tehran, with authorities warning against public celebrations of the crash.

Watch the Funeral Procession video below:

Source: AP

 

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