Iranian President Helicopter Crashed

Iranian President Helicopter Crashed

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei held the service at Tehran University, where the caskets of the deceased were draped in Iranian flags and adorned with their photographs. Khamenei was joined by senior figures from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. After Khamenei’s service, the coffins were loaded onto a semi-truck, and a procession took place through the streets of Tehran.

Iranian President Helicopter Crashed

In a somber gathering in Dubai, Iran’s supreme leader and representatives of militia groups he supports in the Middle East offered prayers on Wednesday over the coffins of the country’s late president, foreign minister, and other officials who perished in a helicopter crash earlier this week. Subsequently, hundreds of thousands of people joined a procession to pay respects to the deceased as they were honored along Tehran’s main boulevard.


Iran’s Shiite theocracy places significant importance on mass demonstrations as a demonstration of its legitimacy and the backing of the populace.


However, despite the significance of Wednesday’s funeral service for President Ebrahim Raisi and others, observers noted a turnout that appeared notably smaller compared to the 2020 procession commemorating Revolutionary Guard general Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.

 Iranian President Helicopter Crashed

Numerous attendees mentioned that they traveled to Tehran from various cities and towns across the Islamic Republic to participate in the ceremony, underscoring the significance of the event for those in Iran’s capital. This is particularly notable considering President Raisi’s election, which occurred amidst a record low turnout. Raisi’s presidency was marked by several crackdowns on dissent, including following the 2022 death of Mahsa Amini, which triggered street protests against Iran’s mandatory hijab, or headscarf, policy.


Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, known for openly expressing grief, notably remained composed while reciting the standard prayer for the deceased, a departure from his emotional display following the death of General Qassem Soleimani.


“Oh Allah, we didn’t see anything but good from him,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recited in Arabic, the language of Islam’s holy book, the Quran. Iran’s acting president, Mohammad Mokhber, stood nearby and openly cried.


The death of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and six others in the crash on Sunday comes at a politically sensitive moment for Iran, both at home and abroad. Iranian President Helicopter Crashed


Raisi, who was 63, had been discussed as a possible successor to Iran’s supreme leader, the 85-year-old Khamenei. None of Iran’s living past presidents — other than Khamenei, who was president from 1981 until 1989 — could be seen in state television footage of Wednesday’s prayers. The authorities gave no explanation for their apparent absence.


Sure, here’s a revised version:

Following the tragic helicopter crash, Iran has scheduled its next presidential election for June 28. Currently, there’s no clear frontrunner for the position among Iran’s political elite, especially considering the absence of a prominent Shiite cleric candidate like Raisi. Iranian President Helicopter Crashed


During Raisi’s tenure, Iran orchestrated an unprecedented attack on Israel last month amid the ongoing conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Iran’s support for Hamas during the conflict, including the provision of weaponry to the militants, has escalated tensions in the region.


Despite the turmoil, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh attended the funeral prayers on Wednesday, despite facing potential legal action. Just days earlier, the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor announced plans to seek an arrest warrant for Haniyeh and others over their alleged involvement in an attack on October 7, which triggered the latest Israel-Hamas conflict. The assault resulted in the deaths of 1,200 people and the seizure of 250 hostages by Hamas-led militants in southern Israel.  Iranian President Helicopter Crashed


The ICC prosecutor is also seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for their actions in the war, which has resulted in the deaths of over 35,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and hundreds more in the West Bank. Haniyeh recalled Raisi describing the October 7 attack as an “earthquake in the heart of the Zionist entity.” During a subsequent meeting with Khamenei, the supreme leader asserted that the “destruction of the Zionist regime is feasible and, God willing, the day in which Palestine will be created from the sea to the river will arrive.”  Iranian President Helicopter Crashed


Haniyeh’s presence at the funeral likely indicates Khamenei’s intention to continue his policy of arming militant groups across the Middle East — including Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and Yemen’s Houthi rebels — as a strategy to exert pressure on adversaries like Israel and the United States. Mourners at the ceremony chanted: “Death to Israel!”


Representatives from Hezbollah and the Houthis were also in attendance.


Later, a memorial service was attended by statesmen from the Middle East and beyond, including Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Tunisian President Kais Saied. Iranian President Helicopter Crashed


Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry was also present. Cairo and Tehran have been in discussions about reestablishing diplomatic ties that were severed following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.


During the morning service, a single black turban was placed on Raisi’s casket, signifying his status as a direct descendant of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Following the service, people carried the coffins on their shoulders as chants of “Death to America!” erupted outside. Iranian President Helicopter Crashed


The procession was marked by open displays of grief, with participants weeping and beating their chests, a customary expression of mourning in Shiite culture. Attendees tossed scarves and other belongings towards the semi-truck carrying the caskets through Tehran, with attendants brushing the items against the caskets as a gesture of blessing.


One man mentioned that he and his friends took a nearly seven-hour bus trip to attend the procession. Many in the crowd expressed their sympathies for the deceased, including Raisi. Iranian President Helicopter Crashed


“He was our president; the others were pilots and a minister. How can I be indifferent about their loss?” asked Sima Rahmani, a 27-year-old woman from Tehran, who wore a loose headscarf despite the risk of detention by police.


Prosecutors have warned people against showing any public signs of celebrating Raisi’s death, and a heavy security presence has been seen in Tehran since the crash. Many shops and stores remained open, while some closed early for a long weekend despite bulk text messages and state TV broadcasts urging people to attend the procession.


“I did not vote for Raisi in the 2021 election, but he was the president of all people,” said Morteza Nemati, a 28-year-old physics student at Tehran Azad University. “My presence is a way of paying tribute to him.”


Meanwhile, an Iranian official provided a new account of Sunday’s crash, further supporting the theory that bad weather was the cause. Gholamhossein Esmaili, who was in one of the two other helicopters in Raisi’s entourage, told state TV that the weather had been fine when the aircraft took off. However, Raisi’s helicopter disappeared into heavy clouds, and the others lost radio contact with it.


The Friday prayer leader from the city of Tabriz, Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, who was also on board, managed to answer two mobile phone calls after the crash, stating that he was hurt, Esmaili said. Iranian President Helicopter Crashed


It wasn’t clear why Iran could not track the phone signal at that point. A Turkish drone helped locate the crash site, and Tehran had even requested assistance from the U.S., its longtime foe.


“The conditions of the bodies found showed that they (died) immediately after the incident,” Esmaili said. “But Ayatollah Ale-Hashem (died) a few hours after the incident.”

Iranian President Helicopter Crashed


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