Iran's Raisi to be buried in Mashhad as funeral ceremonies conclude

Iran's Ebrahim Raisi will be buried in his hometown of Mashhad on Thursday evening after several days of funeral ceremonies held across the country.

The president, 63, and foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday alongside several other officials.

Large crowds were seen at Mashhad's Shahid Mashinejad Airport on Thursday afternoon as the president's body arrived from Birjand, in south Khorasan province, where his coffin was paraded through streets packed with mourners.

His body will be interred at the Imam Reza Ali shrine.

Five hundred mosques have been prepared to welcome people across Mashhad, according to state media.

Thousands turned out in Tehran on Wednesday for a funeral procession attended by foreign representatives and leaders of Iran-backed militant groups, including Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, seen for the first time since the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor Karim Khan said he would seek his arrest.

People surrounded the funeral cortege as it moved slowly through streets lined with photos of the eight people killed in the crash, with large banners depicting Mr Raisi hung across the city.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will lead a commemoration ceremony for the dead on Saturday, the state-run Irna news agency announced on Thursday afternoon.

A Foreign Ministry ceremony for Mr Amirabdollahian began in Tehran's Mashakh Square on Thursday morning after his body was flown back from Mashhad, where mourners surrounded his coffin at Imam Reza Ali shrine.

He was later buried at the Shah Abdol Azim shrine near Tehran, with interim President Mohammad Mokhber in attendance.

The daughter of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani, who was killed in an US air strike in 2020, gave her father's ring to be buried next to the late foreign minister, Iran International reported.

State media referred to Mr Amirabdollahian, who was close to Maj Gen Suleimani and Iran-backed militant groups, as a "resistance diplomat".

While thousands of regime supporters turned out for funeral ceremonies in Tehran, Tabriz and Qom, reaction from the general public has reflected popular opposition to the hardline president. He oversaw the fierce crackdown on anti-regime protesters and critics, in addition to the execution of political prisoners in the 1980s.

Authorities warned families of slain protesters against celebrating the crash, Farsi-language outlets reported, and relatives and journalists have been arrested for reporting and posting about his death.

Some have said Mr Raisi should have faced international courts for rights violations which escalated during his time in office.

Images published by Iranian media on Wednesday showed officials in Mashhad preparing for the final day of funeral rites.

Others showed mourners surrounding Mr Amirabdollahian's coffin at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport after it was flown back from Mashhad.

iran's raisi to be buried in mashhad as funeral ceremonies conclude

Former Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi pays respect to the flag-draped coffin of the late Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian during a funeral ceremony in Tehran. AP

Mr Khamenei led prayers over the remains at Tehran University on Wednesday and was filmed embracing Mr Raisi's grandsons near the coffin.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan were among several foreign representatives who travelled to Tehran, meeting Iranian leaders to express their condolences.

Iranian state media published conflicting reports of 40 to 90 foreign delegations visiting the capital.

Diplomatic relations between Tehran and Riyadh were revived last March following China-brokered negotiations, which also involved Iraq, Jordan and Oman. Iranian diplomats referenced the renewed relationship in tributes paid to Mr Amirabdollahian in state media.

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad said he would travel to Tehran in the wake of Mr Raisi's death, while memorial ceremonies were held at the Iranian embassy in Damascus – the site of a deadly Israeli air strike in April.

Tehran has launched an investigation into Sunday's crash, which took place in heavy fog in north-western Iran.

The officials, travelling on the second of three helicopters in a presidential convoy, were returning from a dam inauguration ceremony on the border with Azerbaijan when communication with their helicopter was lost.

Mohammed Ali Ale Hashem, Mr Khamenei's representative to East Azerbaijan province and an imam in Tabriz, was the only person to survive the crash, but he died a few hours later, officials said.

As ceremonies concluded in Tehran, Hezbollah released old photos of Mr Raisi visiting the militant group in Lebanon for the first time. The images, also carried on Iranian state media, showed the president and his entourage meeting militants next to a rocket launcher.

Yemen's Houthi rebels and Hamas also issued statements paying tribute to Mr Raisi.

The war in Gaza has featured throughout the four days of mourning, with Mr Haniyeh speaking of Mr Raisi's "dedication" to the Palestinian cause in a speech made during funeral ceremonies in Tehran.

Palestinian flags were also flown among the crowd in Tabriz.

On Thursday, leaders of the IRGC hosted several allied militant groups, including Hamas and other Palestinian groups, in Tehran.

IRGC chief and Quds Force commander Esmail Qaani met them to discuss Gaza and "the role of the Resistance Front", Iranian media reported.

OTHER NEWS

14 minutes ago

‘Resident Alien’ Moves To USA Network With Season 4 Renewal

14 minutes ago

Rahul Kohli Joins Amazon’s ‘We Were Liars’ In Recasting

14 minutes ago

Venu Sports Streaming Venture Fills Out Executive Roster With Appointments Across Departments

16 minutes ago

Fans speculate that Jayson Tatum's rumored girlfriend Ella Mai is pregnant after R&B star was spotted celebrating Boston Celtics' NBA Finals win

16 minutes ago

IRS to close ‘major’ tax loophole

17 minutes ago

Ryan Reynolds would only make Deadpool and Wolverine if Shawn Levy was directing

17 minutes ago

Camila Cabello's evolving style inspired by David Bowie and Madonna

17 minutes ago

Rookie quarterback Drake Maye is stealing the show in New England

17 minutes ago

Leigh Leopards boss discusses Aaron Pene debut prospects – and his ‘explosive’ attributes

17 minutes ago

Whistleblower says Boeing lost hundreds of faulty parts -- and some may be on new 737 Max planes

17 minutes ago

Don't be surprised if UEFA Euro 2026 isn't Cristiano Ronaldo's last hurrah with Portugal

17 minutes ago

"An ordinary player" - Legendary European coach claimed MJ would have averaged 16 points per game in Europe

17 minutes ago

Croatia suffer Vlasic blow before crucial Albania match

17 minutes ago

‘Our matches should take precedence’ – Kilkenny legend Eddie Brennan furious that hurling games are not getting prime-time slots

17 minutes ago

NBA Draft is moving to two nights in 2024. Here's what to know about this year's edition.

17 minutes ago

Katy Perry is 'sexy confident' on comeback single Woman's World

17 minutes ago

Signed Taylor Swift CD demo with two unreleased songs sells for $12,000

17 minutes ago

Bridgerton's Nicola Coughlan wows in ethereal Skims shoot

17 minutes ago

James Gunn gives promising update on The Batman 2 script

17 minutes ago

Anne Hathaway reveals hack for lip plumping using a bizarre DIY tool

17 minutes ago

Jordan Peele's new movie gets October 2026 release date

17 minutes ago

Brad Pitt’s F1 movie set to release in summer 2025

17 minutes ago

David Tennant and Naomi Ackie among latest stars to join Netflix’s The Thursday Murder Club

17 minutes ago

How to take care of club money – AmaZulu boss

17 minutes ago

Amanda Balionis shares cheeky Instagram post following Rory McIlroy's US Open heartbreak

17 minutes ago

Ranking top-10 candidates to go No. 1 overall in 2025 NFL Draft: Shedeur Sanders, Carson Beck best QB options

17 minutes ago

Three best 'Hard Knocks' storylines for the Pittsburgh Steelers

17 minutes ago

GM: Royals hope to deepen bullpen, add versatile hitter

17 minutes ago

8 touring productions to see this summer before they end their runs

17 minutes ago

Our solar system could soon have a ninth planet - and no, it's not Pluto

17 minutes ago

Here's when Patriots rookies and veterans report for training camp

19 minutes ago

BBC reminds presenters of guidelines as Gary Lineker appears to break rules

19 minutes ago

Nvidia pushes past Microsoft, Apple to become world’s most valuable firm

19 minutes ago

USMNT weekend roundup: MLS youngsters on the scoresheet

23 minutes ago

18-year-old sensation Billy Loughnane produces the ride of his life on-board Rashabar to win the Coventry Stakes on day one at Royal Ascot

23 minutes ago

Harry Kane now the favourite to win the Euro 2024 Golden Boot as Kylian Mbappe widens to a 9/1 third-favourite after breaking his nose against Austria

23 minutes ago

Andy Murray beats Australian Alexei Popyrin at Queen's in his 1000th Tour level match and first since March as the Scotsman continues to impress ahead of Wimbledon despite retirement talk

23 minutes ago

Boeing CEO admits mistakes as senator rips planemaker: ‘Culture continues to prioritize profits’

24 minutes ago

Thunderstorms to bring repeated downpours to the Upper Midwest

24 minutes ago

Hairy Bikers' Si King supported as he returns to work for first time since Dave Myers' death