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Thousands take to the streets for Iranian president's funeral

Thousands of people filled the streets of the Iranian holy city of Mashhad on Thursday (23) for the funeral of President Ebrahim Raisi, who died four days ago in a helicopter crash, images broadcast by Iranian media showed.

Raisi, 63, was widely seen as a candidate to succeed supreme leader Ali Khamenei, 85, who holds maximum power in Iran. Mohammad Mokhber, who was first vice president, serves as interim president until elections in June .

Flowers were thrown at his coffin as he moved slowly in a truck through crowds of mourners to be buried at the Imam Reza shrine, Iran's holiest Islamic site and revered as the tomb of Imam Ali al-Reza of the 9th century. Raisi's body came from Mashhad, 900 km east of Tehran.

Earlier, thousands of people paid their respects as his coffin was driven in a motorcade through the eastern town of Birjand.

Eight passengers and crew died when the helicopter crashed in mountainous terrain near the border with Azerbaijan. Among them was also the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amirabdollahian.

Iran has proclaimed five days of mourning for Raisi, who enacted his mentor Khamenei's hard-line policies aimed at consolidating clerical power, cracking down on opponents and taking a hard line on foreign policy issues such as nuclear negotiations with Washington. to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear pact.

A ceremony was held to honor Amirabdollahian at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran, where acting Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani described him as a martyr who “guaranteed the revolutionary nature” of the ministry.

Amirabdollahian was buried south of Tehran in the shrine of Shah Abdolazim in the city of Rey, a mausoleum where notable Iranian politicians and artists are buried.

Source: CNN Brasil

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