Iranians nationwide mourn President Raisi, entourage killed in tragic helicopter crash

Tens of thousands of Iranians gathered on Tuesday to mourn the untimely demise of President Ebrahim Raisi and seven members of his entourage, who tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash on a fog-covered mountainside in northwest Iran.

Mourners, bearing Iranian flags and portraits of the late president, congregated in the northwestern city of Tabriz, where Raisi was en route before the fatal accident.

They solemnly marched behind a truck carrying the coffins of Raisi and his aides, paying their respects amidst an outpouring of grief.

The ill-fated helicopter, transporting Raisi and his delegation, encountered communication difficulties while returning to Tabriz after attending the inauguration of a joint dam project on the Aras river, bordering Azerbaijan.

Despite efforts to locate the aircraft amidst adverse weather conditions, tragedy struck, claiming the lives of prominent figures including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and provincial officials.

The news of Raisi’s demise was met with profound sorrow across the nation, prompting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to declare five days of national mourning.

Vice President Mohammad Mokhber has been appointed caretaker president until a presidential election can be organized, scheduled for June 28.

Amidst the somber atmosphere, condolences poured in from Iran’s regional allies, reflecting the widespread impact of Raisi’s leadership.

However, his tenure was marked by challenges, including mass protests, economic turmoil exacerbated by US sanctions, and heightened tensions with Israel and its allies.

As Iran grapples with the loss of a pivotal figure, the nation unites in mourning, reflecting on Raisi’s legacy and the path forward for the Islamic Republic.

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