Wednesday , 12 June 2024

Supreme Leader Khamenei Leads Funeral for President Raisi, Others

Iranwire – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Wednesday led a funeral service for the late President Ebrahim Raisi, foreign minister, and others killed in a recent helicopter crash. 

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Wednesday led a funeral service for the late President Ebrahim Raisi, foreign minister, and others killed in a recent helicopter crash

Tens of thousands of mourners later poured into the streets of Tehran to follow a procession carrying their caskets.

“Oh Allah, we didn’t see anything but good from him,” Khamenei said in the standard prayer for the dead in Arabic, the language of Islam’s holy book, the Quran.

The somber ceremony, held at Tehran University, saw Khamenei deliver prayers over the flag-draped coffins.

A black turban placed atop Raisi’s coffin signified his lineage as a descendant of Prophet Muhammad.

Following the prayers, a collective show of grief erupted as mourners surged forward to touch the caskets. 

Acting President Mohammad Mokhber was seen openly weeping during the service.

The coffins were then carried out on shoulders amidst chants of “Death to America” before being loaded onto a trailer for a procession through Tehran. 

The procession’s final destination was Azadi Square, a symbolic location where Raisi addressed the nation in the past.

The event drew top figures from Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and prominent figures from the region. 

Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas, the Palestinian militant group supported by Iran, delivered a speech before the funeral, igniting chants of “Death to Israel” from the crowd. Hamas is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom, among others.

Haniyeh expressed condolences on behalf of Palestinians and highlighted Raisi’s commitment to their cause. 

He recounted Raisi’s view of the recent Israel-Hamas war as a “critical moment” and emphasized the importance of Muslim world unity in “liberating Palestinian land.”

The funeral also saw a surprising display of international attendance. 

Leaders from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and even Egypt, a nation with strained relations with Iran, sent delegations to offer their respects. 

This suggests a potential thaw in diplomatic tensions as Egypt and Iran reportedly discuss re-establishing ties.

A political hardliner, Raisi had been in office since 2021, a period marked by mass protests against the repression of women in Iran.

As a judge, Raisi was also connected to the 1988 mass execution of political prisoners.

Thousands of these prisoners were ruthlessly executed and dumped in unmarked graves.

While the exact number of deaths is not known, rights groups estimate that roughly 5,000 people were killed following Raisi’s brutal judgments.

0