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Iran’s supreme leader presides over funeral to pray for president

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday held funeral prayers for the country’s president who was killed in Iran’s Islamic Revolution. helicopter crashThousands of Iranians took to the streets of Tehran on an official day of mourning.

this President Ibrahim Raisi63 years old, killed with Iranians Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdullahian60, and five others were traveling with them on Sunday. Funeral events began on Tuesday with a procession in Tabriz, the closest major city to the crash site in northwestern Iran. Ahead of Wednesday’s events, the bodies of Raisi and the other victims were taken to the holy city of Qom and the capital, Tehran.

Tehran police chief Colonel Abdolfazl Mousavipour told state television overnight that Iranian security forces had imposed strict restrictions on vehicle movement and parking in the area where the funeral procession was to begin. State television also reported that public transportation would be free on Wednesday, which was declared a national holiday, so that people could attend the funeral.

On Wednesday morning, state news media showed footage of large crowds heading to Tehran University, where a flag-draped coffin lay in a hall.

Ayatollah Khamenei, 85Enter with the entourage and place the staff in front of the coffin before praying. State media footage showed his speech being carried through a loudspeaker to a crowd of people standing outside with their heads bowed in prayer.

Mr Raisi was considered potential candidates To replace the supreme leader whose health was declining.

A funeral procession will be held in Tehran later on Wednesday, and state news media said a ceremony “attended by senior foreign dignitaries” would be held at 4 p.m. local time.

It’s unclear how many foreign leaders will attend. The Kremlin said it would not send a delegation. However, Turkish officials are expected to attend – Iranian state news media reported that Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas’s political wing in exile, was attending the commemoration in Tehran.

Although it is possible that Mr. Haniyeh will appear Imminent arrest warrant War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Charges at the International Criminal Court. Hamas is an important part of the proxy network that Iran has developed and supported in the Middle East. The armed group’s attack on Israel in October and Israel’s subsequent war in Gaza were dramatic Tensions escalate Last month forced Israel and Iran Exchange for rare direct attacks.

Thousands of government supporters across Iran attended Raisi’s funeral and memorial services, but many ordinary Iranians who opposed the government and despised Raisi’s record of human rights violations remained indifferent, with some even cheering his death.

Investigators are probing the cause of the helicopter crash – state media reported the crash was due to a “technical malfunction” and Iran’s military is leading commission –More details about his final moments have emerged.

Iran’s presidential chief of staff, Gholamhossein Esmaili, said weather conditions were normal when the helicopter took off on Sunday, state news media reported. Esmeli’s helicopter returned safely along with two helicopters that Lacey was aboard.

About 45 minutes into the flight, the pilot of the Lacey helicopter told the fleet to increase altitude to avoid clouds, Esmaili said. But Mr Lacey’s helicopter disappeared.

Mr Esmaili told state television that multiple attempts to make radio contact had failed. One of the passengers on Lacey’s helicopter, a local prayer leader in Tabriz, eventually answered the phone and said the helicopter had crashed. The prayer leader, Muhammad Ali Al Hashim, later died.

Farnaz Fasihi Contributed to the report.

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