News ID: 127565
Publish Date : 20 May 2024 - 22:37
Iran in Mourning Over Martyrdom of President Raisi, Companions

Martyrdom-Like Passing

TEHRAN -- Iran is in a state of shock and mourning following the tragic passing of President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian and their companions in a helicopter crash in a mountainous terrain in the country’s northwest.
They were found early Monday at the site of a helicopter crash after an hourslong search through a foggy region. President Raisi was 63.
In a message on Monday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei announced five days of national mourning.
“With deep sorrow and , I have received the bitter news of the martyrdom-like demise of the mujahid scholar, the people’s President, the competent, hard-working servant of Imam Reza (pbuh), Hujjat al-Islam wal-Muslimeen, Haj Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi and his esteemed entourage (may God be pleased with them),” the Leader said. 
“This bitter tragedy took place while he was serving the people. The entire period that this great, self-sacrificing person held various responsibilities, both during his brief presidency and before that, he was totally dedicated to serving the people, the country, and Islam nonstop.”
Ayatollah Khamenei Khamenei said, “Our honorable Raisi worked tirelessly. In this bitter tragedy, the Iranian nation lost a devoted, sincere, valuable individual who served their country. 
“For him, the well-being and satisfaction of the people, which he considered to be a reflection of divine approval, took precedence over everything else. Therefore, the hurt he suffered due to the ingratitude and taunts of some ill-wishers did not deter him from his round-the-clock efforts for progress and to improve matters.
“In this tragic event, prominent figures such as Hujjat al-Islam Ale-Hashem, the beloved, respected Friday Prayer Leader of Tabriz, Mr. Amir- Abdollahian, the mujahid, active Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Malek Rahmati, the revolutionary, religious governor of East Azerbaijan, the flight crew, and other associates who were accompanying him have also passed away. I hereby declare five days of public mourning and offer my condolences to the dear Iranian nation.” 
According to Article 131 of the Constitution, the Leader said, First Vice PResident Muhammad Mokhber will assume the position of head of the Executive Branch and is obliged to cooperate with the heads of the Legislative and Judicial Branches in facilitating the election of a new president within a period that is not to exceed 50 days. 
“Finally, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the honorable mother of Mr. Raisi, his virtuous, noble wife, the other bereaved family members of the President, and the honorable families of his entourage, in particular the honorable father of Mr. Ale-Hashem. I pray for their patience and solace, and pray for God’s mercy for the departed souls.”
Later in the day, tens of thousands of mourners crowded into downtown Vali-e-Asr square holding posters of Raisi and waving Palestinian flags. Some men clutched prayer beads and were visibly crying. Women gathered together holding photos of the late president.
“We were shocked that we lost such a character, a character that made Iran proud, and humiliated the enemies,” said Muhammad Beheshti, 36.
The crash took the lives of all eight people aboard a Bell 212 helicopter, according to the official IRNA news agency. Among the martyrs were Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian, the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, a senior cleric from Tabriz, a Islamic Revolution Guards Corps official and three crew members, IRNA said.
Iran has flown Bell helicopters extensively since the shah’s era. But aircraft in Iran face a shortage of parts because of Western sanctions.  
“One of the main culprits of yesterday’s tragedy is the United States, which ... embargoed the sale of aircraft and aviation parts to Iran and does not allow the people of Iran to enjoy good aviation facilities,” former foreign minister Muhammad Javad Zarif told The Associated Press.
Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Muhammad Bagheri assigned a high-ranking delegation to investigate the cause of the crash.
The delegation headed by Brigadier Ali Abdollahi has been dispatched to the site of the incident and the investigation has already begun. The results of the investigations will be announced later when the mission is completed.
President Raisi was returning from a ceremony to open a dam on Iran’s border with Azerbaijan on Sunday when his helicopter crashed in Varzeghan, northwestern Iran.
Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the business of Iran’s government would continue no matter what.
An emergency meeting of Iran’s Cabinet issued a statement pledging it would follow President Raisi’s path and that “with the help of God and the people, there will be no problem with management of the country.”
Raisi is the second Iranian president to be martyred in office. In 1981, a bomb blast martyred President Muhammad Ali Rajai in the chaotic days after the country’s Islamic Revolution.