Fireworks and dancing as Iranians celebrate President Raisi’s death following helicopter crash

22 May 2024, 01:36

Footage shared with LBC shows alleged fireworks celebrating the Iranian president's death.
Footage shared with LBC shows alleged fireworks celebrating the Iranian president's death. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Iranians have set off fireworks in an act of celebration following the death of Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, according to reports.

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Raisi, foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and seven others were found dead at the site of a helicopter crash.

The craft came down on Sunday in a remote region in the country's north-west - with a search party working overnight to find the wreckage.

While Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared five days of mourning following his death, others have reportedly been out celebrating and dancing in the street.

One video shared shows fireworks being set off - however, LBC has been unable to verify the legitimacy of the footage.

In another video showing fireworks, a woman can be heard saying: “People are rejoicing at the downfall of Raisi.”

Read more: Thousands of mourners pack the streets as funeral procession begins for Iran’s President Raisi

Read more: Israel says ‘it wasn’t us’ after Iran's President ‘Butcher of Tehran’ Ebrahim Raisi dies in helicopter crash

Alleged fireworks in Iran following the death of President Raisi

Despite reports of defiant celebrations in Iran, the displays were limited as dissent is often met with a strict crackdown.

People in the capital Tehran said there was a heavy presence of armed security forces across several neighbourhoods amid the 'celebrations'.

President Raisi, 63, was travelling with officials when the craft came down yesterday near Jolfa, a city on the Azerbaijani border.

Pictures released by Iranian state media showed his helicopter taking off just moments before the crash which has sent shockwaves through the country.

State media in Iran previously said there was "no sign of life" at the crash site.

Mr Raisi helped oversee the mass executions of thousands in 1988 and later led the country as it enriched uranium near weapons-grade levels and launched a major drone-and-missile attack on Israel.

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