Funeral processions for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi today

Funeral processions for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi today


Rescuers located the wreckage of the chopper in East Azerbaijan province

  • Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, East Azerbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati and Friday prayer leader of Tabriz Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem among the victims
  • First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber is now in charge of the executive branch and has a maximum period of 50 days to hold elections
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DUBAI (Reuters/Anadolu/Web Desk) – Iran will hold funeral processions in several cities on Tuesday for President Ebrahim Raisi and other senior officials killed in a helicopter crash before his burial in the northeastern city of Mashhad on Thursday. 

A funeral ceremony will be held for Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in the northern city of Tabriz on Tuesday morning, local media said, citing officials in East Azerbaijan province in northwestern Iran. 

Their bodies will be flown later in the day to the central Iranian city of Qom, which is home to one of the revered shrines and religious seminaries where Raisi studied. 

Following the second funeral in Qom, they will be brought to the capital Tehran, where Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is expected to lead congregational funeral prayers for them. 

On Thursday, according to the itinerary, Raisi will be taken to his hometown of Mashhad for burial at the revered shrine of Imam Reza. 


Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister were killed in a helicopter crash in mountainous terrain and icy weather, an Iranian official said on Monday, after search teams located the wreckage in East Azerbaijan province. 

"President Raisi, the foreign minister and all the passengers in the helicopter were killed in the crash," the senior Iranian official told Reuters, asking not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter. 

Later, the development was confirmed by Vice President Mohsen Mansouri in a statement on social media and on state television. 

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, East Azerbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati and Friday prayer leader of Tabriz Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem were also aboard the copter. 

Iran's Mehr news agency confirmed the deaths, reporting that "all passengers of the helicopter carrying the Iranian president and foreign minister were martyred". 

Read more: Who was Ebrahim Raisi? From Qom to Tehran

An Iranian official earlier told Reuters the helicopter carrying Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian was completely burned in the crash on Sunday.

State TV reported that images from the site showed the aircraft slammed into a mountain peak, although there was no official word on the cause of the crash. 

State news agency IRNA said Raisi was flying in a US-made Bell 212 helicopter. 

Raisi, 63, was elected president in 2021, and since taking office has ordered a tightening of morality laws, overseen a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests and pushed hard in nuclear talks with world powers.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran's nuclear programme, had earlier sought to reassure Iranians, saying there would be no disruption to state affairs. 


Khamenei said on Monday that First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber is in charge of the executive branch and has a maximum period of 50 days to hold elections following the death of Raisi, Iran's official news agency IRNA reported, as he also declared five days of national mourning.

Read more: Who is Mohammad Mokhber, the man set to become Iran's interim president

In a related development, Iran's government cabinet appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani as acting foreign minister following the death of Amirabdollahian.


Following the official announcement, the Iranian cabinet held an emergency session headed by Vice President Mohammad Mokhber. 

In a statement, the cabinet assured the “loyal, appreciative and beloved” Iranian nation that President Raisi’s path will continue and not even a slight disruption will be caused in administrating the country’s affairs. 


Rescue teams fought blizzards and difficult terrain through the night to reach the wreckage in the early hours of Monday.

“With the discovery of the crash site, no signs of life have been detected among the helicopter's passengers,” the head of Iran’s Red Crescent, Pirhossein Kolivand, told state TV.

Earlier, the national broadcaster had stopped all regular programming to show prayers being held for Raisi across the country.

Read more: World leaders remember Iran's Raisi

In the early hours of Monday, it showed a rescue team, wearing bright jackets and head torches, huddled around a GPS device as they searched a pitch-black mountainside on foot in a blizzard.

Several countries expressed concern and offered assistance in any rescue. 

The White House said US President Joe Biden had been briefed on reports about the crash. China said it was deeply concerned. The European Union offered emergency satellite mapping technology.


The crash comes at a time of growing dissent within Iran over an array of political, social and economic crises. Iran's clerical rulers face international pressure over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme and its deepening military ties with Russia during the war in Ukraine.

In Iran's dual political system, split between the clerical establishment and the government, it is Raisi's 85-year-old mentor Khamenei, supreme leader since 1989, who holds decision-making power on all major policies.

For years many have seen Raisi as a strong contender to succeed Khamenei, who has endorsed Raisi's main policies.

Raisi's victory in a closely managed election in 2021 brought all branches of power under the control of hardliners, after eight years when the presidency had been held by pragmatist Hassan Rouhani and a nuclear deal negotiated with powers including Washington.

However, Raisi's standing may have been dented by widespread protests against clerical rule and a failure to turn around Iran's economy, hamstrung by Western sanctions.

Raisi had been at the Azerbaijani border on Sunday to inaugurate the Qiz-Qalasi Dam, a joint project. Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, who said he had bid a "friendly farewell" to Raisi earlier in the day, offered assistance in the rescue.