Iranians Hold Funeral Processions for Former President


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On Tuesday, mourners dressed in black started to gather for a series of funerals and processions in honor of Iran’s late President Ebrahim Raisi, foreign minister, and other individuals who tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash.


Photo credit: Getty Images

These government-led ceremonies serve the dual purpose of paying tribute to the deceased and projecting strength in a region that is currently experiencing uncertainty.


For Iran’s Shiite theocracy, mass demonstrations have been crucial since millions thronged the streets of Tehran to welcome Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 during the Islamic Revolution and also attended his funeral 10 years later. An estimated 1 million turned out in 2020 for processions for the late Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was slain in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.

Whether President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and others draw the same crowd remains in question, particularly as Raisi died in a helicopter crash, won his office in the lowest-turnout presidential election in the country’s history, and presided over sweeping crackdowns on all dissent. Prosecutors already have warned people over showing any public signs of celebrating his death and a heavy security force presence has been seen on the streets of Tehran since the crash.


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