Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Tens of thousands mourn Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi amid leadership crisis

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun5,2024
Key Points
  • Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash in northwest Iran.
  • Thousands of Iranians turned out for a funeral procession in the city of Tabriz.
  • His death brings uncertainty about Iran’s political succession at a time of widespread public anger.
Thousands of Iranians have turned out to mourn President Ebrahim Raisi in the city of Tabriz.
Raisi was near the Azerbaijan border on the weekend, along with his foreign minister and seven others.
Iranian state TV broadcast live images of mourners on Tuesday, many of them dressed in black, beating their chests while a truck covered in white flowers carrying the caskets wrapped in the national flag was driven slowly through the crowd.

“Everyone has come to bid farewell to the martyred president and his companions regardless of their faction, ethnicity or language,” said Tabriz politician Masoud Pezeshkian.

While Iran proclaimed five days of mourning for Raisi, there was little of the emotional rhetoric that accompanied the death of Qasem Soleimani, a senior commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards killed by a US missile in 2020 in Iraq, whose funeral drew huge crowds of mourners, weeping with sorrow and rage.

Mourners carried posters bearing images of Raisi, foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Friday prayer leader of Tabriz city and other officials who were also killed in the crash.

Raisi’s death comes at a time of deepening crisis between the clerical leadership and society at large over issues ranging from tightening social and political controls to economic hardship.
To restore damaged legitimacy following a historic low turnout of around 41 per cent in March’s parliamentary election, Iran’s rulers must stir up public enthusiasm to secure high participation in the early presidential election that will be held on 28 June.
But Iranians still have painful memories of the handling of nationwide unrest sparked by the in 2022, which was quelled by a violent state crackdown involving mass detentions and even executions.
Raisi enacted the hardline policies of his mentor, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, aimed at entrenching clerical power, cracking down on opponents, and adopting a tough line on foreign policy issues such as nuclear talks with the United States to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear pact.

Widespread public anger at worsening living standards and pervasive graft may also keep many Iranians at home.

While widely seen as a leading candidate to take over from the 85-year-old supreme leader when he dies, two sources said Raisi’s name had been taken off a list of potential successors some six months ago because of his sagging popularity.

Raisi’s death has introduced “great uncertainty” in the succession, analysts said, stirring rivalries in the hardliners’ camp over who will succeed Khamenei as the country’s ultimate authority.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Tens of thousands mourn Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi amid leadership crisis”
  1. It is truly heart-wrenching to witness the mourning for President Ebrahim Raisi. This tragic event highlights the fragility of leadership and the deep emotions it stirs in the people. May he and his companions rest in peace.

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