Iran prepares for solemn funeral of President Raisi after helicopter crash

President Raisi

20th May 2024 – (Hong Kong) Iran is in mourning as preparations are underway for the state funeral of President Ebrahim Raisi, scheduled for tomorrow in the holy city of Mashhad, following a tragic helicopter crash that claimed his life and those of several senior officials, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian.

The helicopter, carrying the Iranian president and other dignitaries, met with disaster in the mountainous terrain of East Azerbaijan province, under harsh weather conditions. The crash not only resulted in the loss of key political figures but has also plunged the nation into a period of profound grief and uncertainty.

Currently, the bodies of President Raisi and the other victims are being transported to the city of Tabriz, where post-mortem examinations will be conducted to determine the exact cause of the crash. Following these procedures, the remains will be moved to Tehran, where official ceremonies will allow government leaders and international dignitaries to pay their respects.

The final rites are to be held in Mashhad, a city of great religious significance to Shia Muslims, reflecting the stature of President Raisi within the Islamic Republic. The choice of Mashhad underscores the profound cultural and spiritual dimensions of the mourning process.

The incident has elicited a wave of international condolences, with leaders from across the globe expressing their sorrow and solidarity with Iran during this difficult time. Pakistan has declared a national day of mourning, and its flag will be flown at half-mast in tribute to the deceased leaders.

In the immediate aftermath of the crash, Vice President Mohammad Mokhber was appointed to handle the day-to-day operations of the presidency. According to Iran’s constitution, he will serve in this interim capacity for 50 days, during which a new presidential election will be organized.

The government has assured the public that despite the devastating loss, the administrative functions of the state will continue uninterrupted. Acting Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani has been appointed to temporarily fill the vacancy left by Abdollahian, ensuring that Iran’s foreign diplomatic engagements remain stable.