Published: 10:04, May 23, 2024
Iranians attend funeral for Raisi, entourage
By Xinhua
Mourners attend the funeral procession of Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi and his companions, in Tehran on May 22, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

TEHRAN - The funeral procession for Iran's late president Ebrahim Raisi and his entourage, who lost their lives in a recent helicopter crash, was held Wednesday morning with the participation of a large number of mournful people in the capital Tehran.

The procession officially started at 7:30 am local time (0400 GMT) at the campus of the University of Tehran, where Iranian citizens and senior officials have already gathered there to mourn, with tearful eyes, the tragic losses of Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azarbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati, and representative of Iran's Supreme Leader to East Azarbaijan Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, all on board the unfortunate helicopter.

They also mourned the tragic death of the head of the president security team Mehdi Mousavi, the helicopter's pilot and co-pilot Taher Mostafavi and Mohsen Daryanoush respectively, and flight crew member Behrouz Qadimi.

Mourners hold posters of the late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during a funeral ceremony for him and his companions who were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday in a mountainous region of the country's northwest, in Tehran, Iran, on May 22, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

The bodies were brought to the university at around 8:15 am. Minutes later, Iran's top leader Ali Khamenei led the funeral prayers over the bodies of the president and his entourage at the university.

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After the prayers, the bodies were transferred from the university to the iconic Azadi Square, the ending point of the possession, through a densely-packed Enghelab Street.

A handout picture provided by the office of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shows him and other clerics and officials praying over the coffins of Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi and others, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in Tehran on May 22, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

The black-clad people accompanied the bodies along the path while holding the pictures of Raisi and Amir-Abdollahian and waving the country's flags.

At the tribute, Ali Larijani, an adviser to Iran's top leader and a former speaker of the Iranian parliament, told reporters that Raisi was very "well-mannered and humble," two characters that have helped improve the relationship between politicians and the people, according to Iran's Students' News Agency.

Mohammad Hosseini, social and cultural adviser to Iran's president and the former vice-president for parliamentary affairs, said Raisi was very popular and loved by the Iranian people, adding he was "hard-working, sincere, pious and selfless".

Mourners attend the funeral of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and and his companions in Tehran on May 22, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

A commemoration ceremony was held for Raisi and his entourage on Wednesday evening at the International Conference Center in Tehran. According to the official news agency IRNA, 68 officials, including presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers from dozens of countries, regional and international organizations paid respect to the bodies of Raisi and his entourage.

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The late president's body will be laid to rest in the holy shrine of Imam Reza in the northeastern city of Mashhad on Thursday.