Iran president death latest: Ebrahim Raisi's funeral under way - as protest leader claims helicopter crash was 'planned' (2024)

Key points
  • Funerals of Iranian president and foreign minister begin today
  • Iranian protesters express 'joy' over Raisi's death - and claim crash was 'planned'
  • Raisi has 'blood on his hands', White House says
  • Explained: Who is the new interim president?
  • Dominic Waghorn analysis: 'Butcher of Tehran' had a fearsome reputation - and many will be fearing instability
  • Alistair Bunkall analysis: Perilous moment for regime



We're pausing our live coverage for now - thanks for following along.

Scroll down through our live page to catch up on developments throughout the day as the funeral for the Iranian president began.


Russia blames US sanctions for the helicopter crash

American sanctions on Iran have worsened aviation safety to levels that allowed Sunday's helicopter crash that killed President Raisi, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has said.

"The Americans disown this, but the truth is that other countries against which the United States announced sanctions donot receive spare parts for American equipment, including aviation," Mr Lavrov said about the crash.

"We are talking about deliberately causing damage toordinary citizens who use these vehicles, and when spare partsare not supplied, this is directly related to a decrease in thelevel of safety."

Iranian media reported that images from the site showed the US-made Bell 212 helicopter on which Mr Raisi was travelling slammed into a mountain peak, although there was no official word on the cause of the crash.

Iran was a major buyer of Bell helicopters under the Shah before the 1979 Islamic revolution, though the exact origin of the aircraft that crashed was not clear.

Decades of sanctions have made it hard for Iran to obtain parts or upgrade its aircraft.


In pictures: Thousands on streets of Tabriz

These images show thousands of Iranians on the streets of Tabriz in northwestern Iran to pay their respects to their late president.

It's the first of several stages of Ebrahim Raisi's three-day funeral.


President's body arrives in Tehran

Ebrahim Raisi's body has arrived in the Iranian capital of Tehran.

The funeral procession, which began this morning in Tabriz, will continue to the holy city of Qom, but the bodies themselves will remain in the capital until tomorrow.

We're expecting Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, to pray on the bodies tomorrow, though this has not been formally confirmed.


Analysis: Does Raisi's death spell instability for Iran?

By Dominic Waghorn, international affairs editor

From the voices speaking out on The World With Yalda Hakim from inside Iran, there was a sense of celebration on the eve of the funeral of their dead president, but also a sense of realism.

Watch: Iranian protesters react to president's death

One dead president the fall of a regime does not make.

That is the bitter truth for those brave Iranians speaking out and the millions of Iranians they represent.

They detest a man who presided over a brutal crackdown on protests that saw hundreds killed on the streets, and thousands incarcerated, tortured, raped or killed after their arbitrary arrest.

But there are reasons for Iranians to find hope some hope in the news of the president's death

Analysts have compared the Iranian theocratic Islamic regime to the Soviet Union in its dying days.

It is ideologically bankrupt. Its people do not believe in what it stands for anymore. It is morally bankrupt too, after the brutal repression that crushed the "Women, Life and Freedom" protests.

It remains powerful, with many people on its payroll, and it is hard to predict how or when it falls. But Iran's people want one thing and its government the opposite - and that ultimately is impossible to sustain.

Raisi had a unique skillset.

He was both a zealous ideologue and, as an ex-judge, a man who understood how both Iran's judiciary and presidency works.

He combined a passionate belief in the Iranian revolution with an expertise in how its regime operated.

It has been said many times in the last 24 hours that Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, will find another hardliner to replace him.

There are plenty more where he came from - but no one with quite his skills and expertise.

That may not be important immediately but at the moment of greatest danger in the not so distant future, when Khamenei dies, it could make all the difference.

With no anointed successor, the supreme leader's passing could usher in a period of instability and weakness for the regime.

Raisi was seen as a potential successor but also a powerful stabilising force as president in that perilous hiatus, someone who could hold the ring while the new order is established and power struggles fought out.

Raisi's death may well not mean immediate change for Iran but it could bring ultimately hasten its end.


Mapped: Where Raisi's body will travel before being laid to rest

This interactive map shows the journey Ebrahim Raisi's body will take as it is transported via procession over the next three days.

Click on the cities - beginning in Tabriz in the northwest and concluding in his burial place of Mashhad - to see when Mr Raisi's body will travel to each of them.


Watch: Funeral procession held for Iranian president

This video shows Ebrahim Raisi's funeral procession in the northwestern city ofTabriz.

He was flying to the city when the helicopter he was in crashed.

From there, his body will be to moved to the religious city ofQom and then to the capital of Tehran.

On Thursday, he will be buried in Mashhad after a stop in Birjand.


Iranian official outlines plan for three-day funeral

Iranian officials have shed a bit more light on what Ebrahim Raisi's funeral will look like.

The funeral is split into several stages - the first ceremony began today at 9.30am local time (7am UK time) in the northwestern city ofTabriz.

Mohsen Mansouri, the Iranian vice president for executive affairs, said in an interview with IRINN that Mr Raisi's body is then going to be moved to the religious city ofQom.

Another procession will begin there at 4.30pm local time ((2pm UK time).

From there, the bodies of Mr Raisi and others killed in the helicopter will then be taken to the capital city ofTehran.

As we mentioned earlier, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei will lead congregational prayers on the bodies during an official funeral ceremony.

On Thursday morning, Mr Raisi's body will next be transferred toBirjand, the capital of South Khorasan province, and then finally ontoMashhad where he will be buriedin the shrine of the eighth Shia Imam Reza on Thursday evening.


'He humiliated the enemies,' mourners say as procession continues

As Ebrahim Raisi's funeral procession continues in Tabriz, journalists are interviewing mourners on the ground.

Hasti Amiri, a Tehran resident, told AP:"From the moment we heard [news of the crash]... we were worried what was going to happen to us, to him (Ebrahim Raisi) and to our country.

"All of us were devastated [when news broke he had died]."

Mohammad Beheshti, another resident from the capital, said he was sad to lose such a powerful leader.

"We were shocked that we lost such a character, a character that made Iran proud, and humiliated the enemies," he said.

"Especially during the past month we saw how his power humiliated Israel and America, and how Iran was elevated to greatness."


Who was Ebrahim Raisi?

The president was both a revered and a controversial figure in Iran - while his administration was tarnished by a series of mass protests, he was seen as a frontrunner to succeed the supreme leader.

Mr Raisi was a hardliner and former head of the judiciary who some suggested could one day replace Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Because of his part in the sentencing of thousands of prisoners of conscience to death back in the 1980s, he was nicknamed the Butcher of Tehran as he sat on the so-called Death Panel, for which he was then sanctioned by the US.

He has supported the country's security services as they cracked down on all dissent, including in the aftermath of the 2022 death of Mahsa Amini.

Ms Amini died after she was arrested for allegedly not wearing her hijab properly, and a United Nations investigative panel later found that Iran was responsible for the "physical violence" that she endured.

Mr Raisi also supported Iran's unprecedented decision in April to launch a drone and missile attack on Israel amid its war with Hamas, the ruling militant group in Gaza responsible for the 7 October attacks which saw 1,200 people killed in southern Israel.

Iran has armed Russia in its war on Ukraine and has continued arming proxy groups in the Middle East, such as Yemen's Houthi rebels and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

He successfully ran for the presidency back in August 2021 in a vote that got the lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic's history as all of his potentially prominent opponents were barred from running under Iran's vetting system.

A presidency run in 2017 saw him lose to Hassan Rouhani, the relatively moderate cleric who as president reached Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Iran president death latest: Ebrahim Raisi's funeral under way - as protest leader claims helicopter crash was 'planned' (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Carmelo Roob

Last Updated:

Views: 6515

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Carmelo Roob

Birthday: 1995-01-09

Address: Apt. 915 481 Sipes Cliff, New Gonzalobury, CO 80176

Phone: +6773780339780

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Gaming, Jogging, Rugby, Video gaming, Handball, Ice skating, Web surfing

Introduction: My name is Carmelo Roob, I am a modern, handsome, delightful, comfortable, attractive, vast, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.