Thousands Gather for Iranian President Raisi's Funeral in Tabriz Amid Mixed Reactions
Thousands Gather for Iranian President Raisi's Funeral in Tabriz Amid Mixed Reactions

Thousands of people have filled the streets of Tabriz today to attend the funeral procession for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash. The event, which started earlier this morning, has seen many mourners and supporters of the government paying their respects. However, the large turnout in Tabriz does not fully represent the entire nation's sentiment. Many Iranians have taken to social media to express their relief and even joy over Raisi's death. These reactions highlight the deep divisions within the country.

Video footage from the procession shows a massive crowd waving Iranian flags and holding portraits of the late president. As the funeral continues, Iranian Prosecutor General Mohammad Kazem Movahhedi Azad has ordered a crackdown on those posting derogatory comments about Raisi and the others who died in the crash. Azad called for arrests shortly after Raisi's death was confirmed on Monday.

While some pro-government users are sharing messages of sorrow online, others are pointing out Raisi's controversial past, including his alleged role in the execution of thousands of political prisoners in the 1980s and the violent suppression of anti-government protests. Some users even celebrated his death with videos of fireworks before it was officially confirmed.

The crash and Raisi's subsequent death have intensified discussions about the future leadership of Iran, especially concerning the 85-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose health has been a subject of much speculation. Dr. Sanam Vakil of the Chatham House think tank noted that the government will likely use Raisi's death to display unity and adherence to constitutional procedures while seeking a new leader who can maintain conservative loyalty to Khamenei.

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