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FMs from Iran's partners including Pakistan hold minute's silence for Raisi

Funeral procession for the late president to be held in Iran's northwest: Tehran schedules presidential election for June 28

By News Desk

May 21, 2024 08:28 AM

Foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states pose for a family photo prior to their meeting in Astana.–AFP

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Foreign ministers and diplomats from around a dozen of Iran's political and economic partners including Pakistan paid tribute to late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at a meeting of a China-led regional bloc on Tuesday.

Raisi and Iran Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Envoys from Russia, China, India and Pakistan were among those who stood for a minute's silence at the start of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.

"Despite these difficult times, Iranian representatives are taking part in this ministerial council for the first time," Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said in a statement released by his office.

The SCO is designed to boost relations, trade and investment between among its members, primarily with four Central Asian republics -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran joined last year.

This week's meeting of foreign ministers is laying the groundwork for a leaders' summit set to take place in Astana in July.

Iran schedules presidential election for June 28

Interim President of Iran Mohammad Mokhbar has announced that the presidential election will be held on June 28, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Tuesday.
According to the report, Iranian Interim President Mohammad Mokhbar chaired a special meeting that was attended by the Speaker of Iranian Parliament and the Head of the Judiciary.
In the meeting, it was decided to hold presidential elections on June 28.
As per the schedule of the presidential elections, the candidates will be registered themselves from May 30 to June 3 and then run their electioning campaign from June 12 to 27.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei assigned vice president Mohammad Mokhber to assume interim duties after the death of president Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash a day earlier.
"In accordance with Article 131 of the constitution, Mokhber is in charge of leading the executive branch," said Khamenei in a statement, adding that Mokhber will be required to work with the heads of legislative and judicial to prepare for presidential elections "within a maximum period of 50 days".

Iranian state media said President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister died on Monday after their helicopter crashed in a mountainous region of the country.
The government has not yet issued a confirmation of the leader's death.
Rescue teams had been scouring the area since Sunday afternoon after a helicopter carrying Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other officials had gone missing.
Early Monday, relief workers located the missing helicopter, with state TV saying the president had died.
"The servant of Iranian nation, Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi has achieved the highest level of martyrdom whilst serving the people," state television said Monday, with Mehr news agency also saying he was dead.
State television broadcast photos of Raisi, with the voice of a man reciting the Koran playing in the background.
Iran's vice president for executive affairs Mohsen Mansouri posted on X a Koranic verse used to express condolences.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced on Monday five days of mourning for President Ebrahim Raisi who died in a helicopter crash.
"I announce five days of public mourning and offer my condolences to the dear people of Iran," said Khamenei in an official statement a day after the death of Raisi and other officials in the crash in East Azerbaijan province.

Funerary procession to be held for late president in Iran's northwest

 Iranians gathered on Tuesday to mourn at the funerary procession of president Ebrahim Raisi in the northwestern city of Tabriz, the capital of East Azerbaijan province where he died unexpectedly in a helicopter crash.

The helicopter lost communication while it was on its way back to Tabriz after Raisi attended a joint inauguration of a dam with his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, on their common border.

A massive search and rescue operation started Sunday afternoon when two other helicopters in Raisi's convoy lost contact with his aircraft amid harsh weather conditions in the mountainous region.

State TV early Monday broke the news of his death, saying "the servant of the Iranian nation, Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi, has achieved the highest level of martyrdom", showing pictures of him as a voice recited the Koran.

Killed alongside the Iranian president were Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, members of the provincial authorities of East Azerbaijan and his security team.

Iran's military chief of staff Mohammad Bagheri on Monday ordered a probe into the cause of the crash.

Following the confirmation of Raisi's death, international condolences poured in while people in cities across the Islamic republic gathered to mourn the late president and his companions.

Thousands of mourners holding portraits of Raisi gathered Monday at central Valiasr Square in the capital Tehran.


- National mourning -


Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has ultimate authority in Iran, declared five days of national mourning and assigned vice president Mohammad Mokhber, 68, to assume interim duties ahead of elections.

State media later announced the presidential election would be held on June 28.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri, who served as deputy to Amir-Abdollahian, was tapped to serve as the acting foreign minister.

After leaving Tabriz, Raisi's body will arrive in Iran's Shiite clerical centre of Qom Tuesday before being moved to Tehran.

Khamenei is due to hold prayers at a farewell ceremony in Tehran on Tuesday night, ahead of major processions due to begin on Wednesday morning.

Raisi will then be taken to Southern Khorasan province on Thursday morning and later to his hometown of Mashhad, where he will be buried on Thursday evening after funerary rites.

The ultraconservative Raisi, 63, had been in office since 2021, a time during which Iran was rocked by mass protests, an economic crisis deepened by US sanctions, and armed exchanges with arch-enemy Israel.

Raisi succeeded the moderate Hassan Rouhani, at a time when the economy was battered by US sanctions over Iran's contested nuclear programme.

Condolences flooded in from Palestinian militant group Hamas, Lebanon's Hezbollah, and Syria, all members of the so-called "axis of resistance" against Israel and its allies, at a time of high Middle East tensions over the Gaza war.

The war in the Palestinian territory sent tensions soaring and a series of escalations led to Tehran launching hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel in April.

It came in response to an earlier air strike widely blamed on Israel that levelled Tehran's Damascus consulate and killed two Revolutionary Guards generals.

In a speech hours before his death, Raisi emphasised Iran's support for the Palestinians, a centrepiece of its foreign policy since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Palestinian flags were raised along with the Iranian flags in ceremonies for Raisi across the Islamic republic on Monday.



News Desk

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