Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei oversaw a memorial service on Wednesday at Tehran University to honor the former president Ebrahim Raisi, former foreign minister, and other individuals killed in a helicopter crash. “Oh Allah, we didn’t see anything but good from him,” Khamenei said in the standard prayer for the dead in Arabic. Iran’s acting president, Mohammad Mokhber, stood nearby and openly wept during the service. People then carried the coffins out on their shoulders, chanting “Death to America!”, followed by a massive crowd estimated in the tens of thousands participating in a procession through the capital city of Tehran, following the caskets.

Among those present were top leaders of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, one of the country’s major power centers. Also in attendance were leaders of terrorist groups backed by Iran – Naim Qassem, the deputy leader of Hezbollah, and Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas, which has received arms and support from Iran during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Before the funeral, Haniyeh spoke to the crowd and said “I come in the name of the Palestinian people, in the name of the resistance factions of Gaza … to express our condolences,” and an emcee led the crowd in chanting “Death to Israel!”

Haniyeh also recounted meeting Raisi in Tehran during Ramadan, the holy Muslim fasting month, and described Raisi calling the Oct. 7 attack that sparked the war, which saw 1,200 people killed and 250 others taken hostage, an “earthquake in the heart of the Zionist entity.”

Russia, Iran’s close ally, sent the chairman of the state Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin to attend the funeral as well.

Raisi, 63, was elected president at the second attempt in 2021, and since taking office has ordered a tightening of morality laws and pushed hard in nuclear talks with world powers. He had earned the chilling moniker “Butcher of Tehran” for his involvement in the execution of thousands of Iranian protesters during the 1980s, casting a dark shadow over his presidential legacy. Raisi’s tenure as President was further marred by widespread protests against the oppressive Iranian regime, sparked by the tragic death of Mahsa Amini in 2022. Amini, a woman arrested for allegedly wearing her hijab improperly, died in police custody, igniting nationwide demonstrations. Authorities ruthlessly suppressed these protests, resulting in at least 500 casualties and tens of thousands of arrests, according to reports. Many saw him as burnishing his credentials to become Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s successor as Iran’s Supreme Leader.

Source » israelhayom