Iran Begins Burying Late President, Foreign Minister and Others Killed in Helicopter Crash

(AP) —
Army members carry the flag-draped coffin of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, who was killed in a helicopter crash along with President Ebrahim Raisi on Sunday. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iran on Thursday prepared to bury its late President. President Ebrahim Raisi’s burial caps days of processionals through much of Iran, seeking to bolster the country’s theocracy after the crash that killed him, the country’s foreign minister, and six others.

However, the services have not drawn the same crowds as those who gathered for services for Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in 2020, slain by a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.

It’s a potential sign of the public’s feelings about Raisi’s presidency during which the government harshly cracked down on all dissent during protests over the 2022 death of Mahsa Amini, detained for allegedly not wearing her mandatory headscarf to authorities’ liking.

That crackdown, as well as Iran’s struggling economy, have gone unmentioned in the hours of coverage provided by state media and in newspapers. Also never discussed was Raisi’s involvement in the mass execution of an estimated 5,000 dissidents at the end of the Iran-Iraq war.

Prosecutors have warned people against showing any public signs of celebrating Raisi’s death and a heavy security force presence has been seen in Tehran since the crash.

Thursday morning, thousands in black gathered along a main boulevard in the city of Birjand, Raisi’s hometown in Iran’s South Khorasan province along the Afghan border. A semitruck bore his casket down the street. Hours later, Raisi’s casket arrived in Mashhad.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!