Thousands Chant ‘Death to America’ at Iran President’s Funeral

Hundreds of thousands of people gather in Revolution Square (Enghelab Square) and surround
Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu via Getty

Iran held the second of a week’s worth of funeral events on Wednesday for President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, convening thousands who chanted “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” in honor of the late officials.

Iran’s “supreme leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei personally led the prayers on Wednesday, praising Raisi as “noble and devoted” and lamenting his untimely death.

Raisi, Amir-Abdollahian, and six others died on Sunday in a helicopter crash as they attempted to return home from a diplomatic engagement in nearby Azerbaijan. Iranian authorities have announced they will investigate the circumstances of the crash but have not publicly indicated that they do not believe it was an accident, as it occurred in a mountainous forest area during inclement weather. It remains unclear at press time why the president’s helicopter was allowed to fly in significant fog and rain.

Iran held its first funeral for the officials in Tabriz, East Azerbaijan, the Iranian province where the helicopter crashed, on Tuesday. On that occasion, Iranian state propaganda outlets claimed that “millions” convened to listen to Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi honor the late president and top diplomat. Iranian state outlet PressTV again claimed on Wednesday that a “millions-strong” crowd assembled for Raisi.

The images orchestrated by the Iranian Islamist regime contrast significantly with widespread reports on Sunday and Monday of Iranians openly celebrating Raisi’s death. Videos surfaced of unknown individuals launching fireworks and sharing sweets following the confirmation of Raisi’s death, a testament to Raisi’s brutal, murderous legacy. In the diaspora, Iranian exiles openly celebrated his demise.

Iran’s Cyber Police Chief Vahid Majid announced on Tuesday that his office would begin investigating individuals accused of sharing “false and insulting” content about Raisi online. Iranians widely shared comedic memes on Sunday and Monday mocking Raisi’s death, including jokes anticipating that the Iranian regime would blame Israel for the helicopter crash.

Some reports on Wednesday indicated that Iranian citizens received menacing mobile phone messages demanding their presence at the event in Tehran, an indication that the regime believed Iranians needed more goading to show up in large numbers.

Raisi, a cleric by training, spent much of his career in Iranian politics as a prosecutor, ensuring the executions of thousands of peaceful dissidents. Raisi was a member of Iran’s “death commissions” in the 1980s, where he is believed to have facilitated the execution of between 5,000 and 30,000 political prisoners in 1988. During his presidency, which began in 2021, Raisi focused his regime on killing women’s rights and student protesters outraged by the September 2022 killing of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman beaten to death because the Iranian “morality police” accused her of wearing her hijab incorrectly. A United Nations report published in March estimated that Raisi’s government killed more than 550 people in the Mahsa Amini uprising.

“Dear Raeisi did not know fatigue,” PressTV quoted Khamenei as saying during his officiating of funeral prayers for the president.

Footage broadcast from the funeral on Wednesday showed crowds chanting “Death to America!” following Khamenei’s prayer. Chants of “Death to Israel!” followed remarks by Hamas “political” head Ismail Haniyeh, who was invited to address the crowd.

Hamas, a Sunni jihadist terrorist organization, relies heavily on Iranian funding to bankroll its mass abductions, rocket attacks, and slaughters. A Hamas spokesman claimed on October 7 that the organization had “direct backing” from Iran for their attack, in which they killed an estimated 1,200 people, abducted 250 others, and engaged in widespread atrocities against Israeli civilians on that day.

Khamenei offered Haniyeh a private reception separate from the funeral in which he reiterated Iran’s genocidal intent to destroy Israel.

“God’s promise will be fulfilled in the formation of the Palestinian state from the river to the sea,” Khamenei reportedly told Haniyeh. “From the river to the sea” refers to the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, the bodies of water that border all of Israel.

Khamenei also used the opportunity to celebrate the chaos caused in America by Hamas sympathizers on college campuses.

“Who would have believed that one day, slogans in support of Palestine would be raised in US universities and that the flag of Palestine would be raised there?” the regime-affiliated Tasnim News Agency quoted Khamenei as saying to Haniyeh.

In addition to Haniyeh, PressTV reported that senior representatives of another Iranian proxy terror organization, Hezbollah, were also present at the event.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) noted that, while Iran’s proxy terror groups were amply represented, no Western head of government was present at the funeral, nor were any of Raisi’s living predecessors, including his direct predecessor, former President Hassan Rouhani. Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who attempted to run against Raisi in the 2021 election but did not receive “supreme leader” approval, was also absent.

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