Feedback | Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Iran: Supreme Leader leads prayers at Raisi funeral, memorial ceremony held in Delhi

Iran’s Supreme Leader led prayers in Tehran on Wednesday at the funeral of the late President Ebrahim Raisi, who was killed along with Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and other officials in Sunday’s crash near the Azerbaijan border.

State TV showed Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei leading prayers as tens of thousands of mourners thronged streets at the funeral in Tehran, which will move to the cleric’s eastern home city of Mashhad for burial on Thursday.

A resident in Tehran said many people had received a text message on their phones, calling on people to “attend the funeral of the martyr of service”.

Iran proclaimed five days of mourning for Raisi, who enacted the hardline policies of his mentor Khamenei aimed at entrenching clerical power, cracking down on opponents, and adopting a tough line on foreign policy issues such as nuclear talks with Washington to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear pact.

Over 40 high-ranking foreign delegations at the levels of head of state, foreign ministers, and heads of parliament will take part at the commemoration ceremony in Tehran on Wednesday afternoon, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said.

Iran-backed Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah’s deputy chief Naim Qassem joined the funeral in Tehran.

“I am here on behalf of the Palestinian people, in the name of the resistance factions of Gaza … to express our condolences,” Haniyeh told the crowd, who chanted “Death to Israel”.

Memorial Service Held in Delhi

On Tuesday, a memorial ceremony for Raisi and Abdollahian took place at the Iran Culture House in New Delhi.

Earlier in the day, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar departed for Tehran to attend Raisi’s funeral.

“Vice-President of India Jagdeep Dhankar will pay a visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran on 22 May 2024 to attend the official ceremony to pay condolences on the tragic demise of President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and other Iranian officials in an unfortunate helicopter crash on 19 May 2024,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have extended their condolences to the government and people of Iran.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar also visited the Iranian embassy in New Delhi on Tuesday to express India’s profound condolences. He described the late Iranian leaders as “friends of India” who significantly contributed to strengthening the India-Iran relationship.

Additionally, a condolence book has been opened at the Iranian Embassy in New Delhi, allowing individuals to pay their respects to the late President, Foreign Minister, and other officials. India observed a national day of mourning on May 21 to honor the deceased Iranian leaders.

(With input from agencies)

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