Iranian President Raisi: Days of funerals begin as investigators probe helicopter crash



CNN

Following the death of late Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi, funeral rites are set to begin on Tuesday. A helicopter crashAuthorities are investigating what caused the plane to crash into a remote mountainside during foggy weather on Sunday morning.

Raisi’s death along with other high officialsThe Islamic Republic’s hardline establishment, including the country’s foreign minister, has left and faces an uncertain future as it navigates rising regional tensions and internal discontent.

Iran’s government has organized several days of mourning, culminating this weekend with the funeral of the 63-year-old ultraconservative cleric who was once considered a possible successor to current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

Funeral services and processions will begin Tuesday in Tabriz, the largest city in Iran’s mountainous northwest where the helicopter crashed, according to Mohsen Mansouri, head of the funeral planning committee and Iran’s vice president for administrative affairs. .

Ali Hamed Haghdous/Wana News Agency/Reuters

A helicopter carrying Iran’s President Ibrahim Raisi took off on May 19, 2024, before the crash.

Later that day, the bodies of the victims will be transferred to the holy Shiite city of Qom, where many of the clerics who make up Iran’s theocratic elite were trained, and then on to the capital, Tehran.

Big celebrations are planned for Wednesday at Tehran’s massive Grand Moselle Mosque. Mansoori declared a public holiday and offices across the country were closed on that day to accommodate the processions.

Raisi’s body will later be taken to the historic Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad, where Ayatollah Khamenei will lead prayers, Mehr News reported.

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There was no indication of what caused the crash — and why so many senior Iranian government officials were traveling in the same, decades-old helicopter.

In the first minutes after Raisi’s helicopter lost contact on Sunday night, Turkey said it monitored whether or not the plane had given a “signal” but could detect none.

“We immediately contacted the Iranian side. They also contacted us, but unfortunately the signal system was disabled or it turned out that the helicopter did not have a signal system,” Turkish Transport and Infrastructure Minister Abdulkadir Uraloglu said.

It’s not clear if he’s referring to a helicopter’s transponder, which most aircraft are routinely equipped with.

Asked if there was a possibility of sabotage, Uraloğlu said it was too early to comment on the issue, adding that early indications looked like an accident due to foggy weather.

On Monday, Iranian media reported that the country’s military chief had appointed a team to investigate the cause of the crash, including military and technical experts.

According to Iran’s Tasnim news agency, a high-level delegation will visit the crash site in East Azerbaijan.



01:58 – Source: CNN

Iran condoles death of President Ibrahim Raisi

The loss of Raisi – a conservative hardliner and protege of Ayatollah Khamenei – is expected to sow further uncertainty in a country already under significant economic and political pressure, with tensions with neighboring Israel at an alarming high.

His death sparked domestic and international reactions – with many of Iran’s autocratic allies sending condolences and tributes. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un have all issued statements praising Raisi’s legacy and hailing him as a “friend”.

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In his message, Kim described Raisi as “a great statesman and a close friend of the (North Korean) people,” adding that the leader “has made great contributions to safeguarding the sovereignty, development and interests of the Iranian people and their country,” North Korean state media KCNA reported.

Xi, who last year played a role in brokering a landmark rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, praised Raisi’s important contributions to “maintaining Iran’s security and stability and promoting national development and prosperity.”

Azin Haghighi/Moj News Agency/AP

Photo provided by Moj news agency shows rescue team personnel at the scene of the helicopter crash on May 20, 2024.

“Raisi’s tragic death is a great loss for the Iranian people, and the Chinese people have also lost a good friend,” Xi said in a statement released by Chinese state media, adding that the two countries would continue to “integrate and deepen” their strategy. Collaboration.

Putin trusted by America receives support From Iran to the war in Ukraine, he called the Iranian leader a “great statesman” and a “true friend of Russia.” Putin’s statement released by the Kremlin said Raisi made “an invaluable personal contribution” to the development of the countries’ relations.

The comments came as observers pointed to a loose but growing convergence of interests between Iran, China, North Korea and Russia over a shared hostility toward the United States and a global system dominated by its values.

Within Iran, where many of the country’s youth are fed up with the rule of conservative clerics, Raisi had a very polarizing legacy.

He was widely seen as a figure heavily invested in by the Iranian hardline establishment. But he brutally crushed a youth-led uprising against repressive laws such as the mandatory hijab, and has since continued to stamp out dissent.

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