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Thousands attend funeral procession as Iran buries President Raisi

Mourners surround a truck carrying the flag-draped coffins of the President Ebrahim Raisi in the city of Mashhad, Iran, Thursday, May 23, 2024   -  
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Mohammad Hasan Salavati/AP

Supreme Leader of Iran

Iran on Thursday interred its late president at the holiest site for Shiite Muslims in the Islamic Republic.

Thousands of mourners in Iran joined a massive funeral procession for the late President Ebrahim Raisi on Thursday.

A large truck carried Raisi's coffin through the city of Birjand, surrounded by a somber crowd walking alongside the giant vehicle.

Raisi will be the first top politician in the country to be buried at the shrine, which represents a major honor for the cleric.

The death of Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six others in the crash on Sunday comes at a politically sensitive moment for Iran, both at home and abroad.

Raisi, who was 63, had been discussed as a possible successor to Iran’s supreme leader, the 85-year-old Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It was a final sign of respect for a protégé of Iran's supreme leader, who was killed in a helicopter crash Sunday.

President Ebrahim Raisi's burial at the Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad caps days of processionals through much of Iran, seeking to bolster the country's theocracy after the crash that killed him, the country's foreign minister and six others.

Thousands of people stood in the streets of Mashhad to see Raisi's coffin draped in Iran's flag.