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This Image Does Not Show Iranian President’s Funeral

Ahmed Sabry Ahmed Sabry
25th May 2024
This Image Does Not Show Iranian President’s Funeral
The image predates the funeral of Ebrahim Raisi (X)

The Claim

West says Raisi was unpopular in Iran. I saw millions of people at his funeral.

Emerging story

Following the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of the Iranian president and foreign minister, social media users have been circulating an image claiming that the funeral procession for Iran's President Ibrahim Raisi.

A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar investigated the circulating image and found the claim to be misleading. 

The Image is From the 2020 Tribute to Qasem Soleimani

Misbar's team found that the image dates back to January 2020 and shows Iranian general Qassem Soleimani’s funeral.

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Qasem Soleimani, the revered military figure in Iran, met his demise in a U.S. airstrike authorized by President Donald Trump at Baghdad International Airport. He was celebrated as a courageous, charismatic leader cherished by troops in Iran. Soleimani, one of the nation's most influential figures, sparked controversy due to his leadership role in the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, a unit designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S.

Referred to as Iran's "shadow commander," Soleimani, who commanded the Quds Force since 1998, orchestrated Iranian military endeavors in Iraq and Syria. U.S. authorities allege that during the Iraq war, Soleimani's units supplied Iraqi insurgents with specialized armor-penetrating bombs, posing a significant threat to American forces—a claim Iran vehemently refuted.

Funeral Procession For President Ebrahim Raisi In Tehran

The circulation of the claim came after Iranians flooded the thoroughfares of Tehran, the capital city, to bid farewell to President Ebrahim Raisi and his accompanying delegation, tragically lost in a helicopter crash. In the heart of the metropolis, grief-stricken individuals clutching portraits of Raisi congregated in and around the precincts of the University of Tehran on Wednesday. Here, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei led the funeral prayers, surrounded by dignitaries.

The coffins of the deceased, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, were solemnly attended by Khamenei and other high-ranking officials. Raisi's helicopter met with disaster on a fog-obscured mountainside in northwestern Iran on Sunday, while returning from a ceremony on the Azerbaijan border. A massive search and rescue mission, aided by Turkey, Russia, and the European Union, ensued following the crash, with Raisi's demise officially announced on Monday via state television.

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Raisi, aged 63 and widely tipped as the successor to Khamenei as supreme leader, was mourned extensively in Tehran. The city adorned itself with banners honoring the late president, while others bid "farewell to the servant of the disadvantaged." Residents of Tehran received notifications urging their attendance at the funeral of the fallen leader, emphasizing his selfless dedication.

Funerary rituals for Raisi and his companions commenced on Tuesday with processions in Tabriz and Qom, drawing multitudes of somberly attired mourners. Subsequently, the bodies will be transported from Tehran to Mashhad, Raisi's birthplace in the northeast, for interment at the Imam Reza shrine after the requisite ceremonies.

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Read More

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