Officials gather for Iranian President Raisi, crash victims

TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian and regional officials attended the funeral ceremony for the late President Ebrahim Raisi and other victims of a helicopter crash at Tehran’s Grand Mosalla Mosque on Wednesday, May 22.

Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh and Lebanon’s Hezbollah deputy leader Sheikh Naim Kassem were among the mourners.

Raisi died in a helicopter crash near the Azerbaijan border over the weekend, along with his foreign minister and seven others.

His death came during a time of deepening crisis between the clerical leadership and society over issues ranging from tightening social and political controls to economic hardship.

Raisi’s body was flown from Tabriz, the closest major city to the crash site, to Tehran’s airport before being transported to the Shiite holy city of Qom.

From there, it was returned to the capital to lie in state at Tehran’s Grand Mosalla Mosque before being transferred to his hometown of Mashhad in eastern Iran for burial on Thursday, May 23.