IRAN President Funeral LATEST: Putin Makes Rare Trip Out Of Russia As Thousands Gather

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The Russian leader is being escorted by four Russian Sukhoi 35 flight jets all the way to Tehran.

Funeral ceremony in Tabriz for President Raisi who died in a helicopter crash (Image: Getty)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and the country’s foreign minister were found dead on Monday, hours after their helicopter crashed in fog, leaving the Islamic Republic without two key leaders as extraordinary tensions grip the wider Middle East.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is making a rare trip out of Russia to travel to Iran for Raisi’s funeral. Putin’s jet will be escorted by four Russian Sukhoi 35 flight jets all the way to and from Tehran.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in the Shiite theocracy, quickly named a little-known vice president as caretaker and insisted the government was in control, but the deaths marked yet another blow to a country beset by pressures at home and abroad.

Iran has offered no cause for the crash nor suggested sabotage brought down the helicopter, which fell in mountainous terrain in a sudden, intense fog.

In Tehran, Iran’s capital, businesses were open and children attended school Monday. However, there was a noticeable presence of both uniformed and plainclothes security forces.

Later in the day, hundreds of mourners crowded into downtown Vali-e-Asr square holding posters of Raisi and waving Palestinian flags. Some men clutched prayer beads and were visibly crying. Women wearing black chadors gathered together holding photos of the dead leader.

The crash comes as the Israel-Hamas war roils the region. Iran-backed Hamas led the attack that started the conflict, and Hezbollah, also supported by Tehran, has fired rockets at Israel.

Last month, Iran launched its own unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel.

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Ceremony also held in Tabriz

Crowds also gathered in Tabriz, northeastern Iran, for a ceremony in Raisi’s honour.

Huge crowds turnout

Raisi’s funeral will take place Thursday in Mashhad, the city where he was born, with other funerals to be held on Tuesday, state TV said.

Vladimir Putin travels to Tehran

The Russian leader is travelling to Tehran to show his support at Iranian President Raisi’s funeral.

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