Iran Prepares to Bury President Raisi

Iran’s president will be laid to rest in his hometown on Thursday, capping days of funeral observances after his death in a helicopter crash left the country without one of its highest-profile leaders.

The deceased president, Ebrahim Raisi, will be buried at the Imam Reza shrine in the northeastern city of Mashhad, one of the holiest sites of Shiite Islam. Before that, his body was flown from Tehran, the capital, to the eastern city of Birjand for a funeral procession. Photos and videos posted by the state news media showed a smaller crowd in Birjand compared with the tens of thousands who thronged the streets of Tehran a day earlier.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, announced five days of mourning after Mr. Raisi, 63, and the country’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, 60, died along with five others when their helicopter plunged into a mountainous area near the Iranian city of Jolfa on Sunday.

Ayatollah Khamenei led funeral prayers on Wednesday for Mr. Raisi and the other victims of the crash before the coffins were driven through the packed streets of Tehran in a large-scale procession. An array of foreign dignitaries — including the leaders of two Iran-backed militant groups, Hamas and Hezbollah — also came to pay their respects. Several had private sit-downs with the supreme leader, who that night visited Mr. Raisi’s family at their home, according to the state news media.

The Iranian authorities have sought to project stability since the crash, emphasizing that the governing of the country will not be affected.

A hard-line cleric who came of age during the country’s Islamic revolution, Mr. Raisi was viewed as a potential successor to Ayatollah Khamenei, 85. His death requires new presidential elections — which the authorities have set for June 28 — and could also shift the dynamics around the selection of Ayatollah Khamenei’s successor.

On Thursday morning, Mr. Raisi’s family flew to Mashhad before his burial, a state news agency reported. It said that Iran’s interior minister, Ahmad Vahidi, had also arrived in the holy city.

A separate ceremony was taking place in Tehran for Mr. Amir Abdollahian. He will be buried in the city on Thursday after a ceremony at the foreign ministry, according to the state news media.

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