Thousands of people in Iran’s South Khorasan Province have gathered to bid farewell to President Ebrahim Raeisi and two of his companions who embraced martyrdom in a tragic helicopter crash in the country’s northwestern province of East Azarbaijan.

The coffins of Raeisi and his associates were warmly welcomed by tearful eyes and black-clad mourners in the provincial capital of Birjand on Thursday morning.

The martyred president was elected as the representative of South Khorasan Province in the Assembly of Experts elections in March.

The 88-member body with an eight-year mandate is in charge of overseeing the activities of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and is in a position of authority to either appoint or dismiss the Leader.

Later in the day, the martyred president will be laid to rest in Mashhad in the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the eighth Shia Imam, after a funeral service in the capital of Khorasan Razavi Province.

On Wednesday morning, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei led prayers over the bodies of Raeisi and his companions in the capital Tehran as millions of people gathered to hold a funeral procession.

The millions-strong procession started from the University of Tehran, where Iranian citizens and senior officials had already gathered to mourn, to the iconic Azadi Square.

World leaders, presidents, ambassadors and international personalities as well as high-profile figures of the Axis of Resistance, including Ismail Haniyeh, the political bureau chief of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, and Sheikh Naim Qassem, deputy secretary general of Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement, attended the ceremony.

The northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz and the holy city of Qom were on Tuesday morning and evening the scene of millions of people who had gathered to pay tribute to Raeisi.

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