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Mourners gather in Tehran for Iranian President Raisi’s funeral procession | In Images News

Huge crowds of Iranians thronged the streets of the capital, Tehran, to attend the funeral procession of President Ebrahim Raisi and his entourage, who died in a helicopter crash.

In the city center, mourners holding portraits of Raisi gathered Wednesday in and around Tehran University, where Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei led prayers.

Flanked by senior officials, Khamenei prayed over the coffins of the dead, who also included Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

Raisi’s helicopter crashed into a fog-covered mountainside in northwest Iran on Sunday as he returned to the city of Tabriz after attending a ceremony on the border with Azerbaijan.

A huge search and rescue operation was launched, with help from Turkey, Russia and the European Union. State television announced Raisi’s death early Monday.

Raisi, who was expected to succeed Khamenei as supreme leader, was 63 years old.

In Tehran, huge banners were raised saluting the late president, while others said “goodbye to the servant of the underprivileged.”

Tehran residents received phone messages urging them to “attend the funeral of the service martyr.”

Funeral rites for Raisi and his entourage began on Tuesday with processions through Tabriz and the Shiite clerical center of Qom that attracted tens of thousands of black-clad mourners.

From Tehran, the bodies will be taken to Mashhad, Iran’s second city, Raisi’s hometown in the northeast, where he will be buried after funeral rites at the shrine of Imam Reza.

After his death, global allies Russia and China sent their condolences, as did NATO, while the UN Security Council observed a minute of silence.

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