‘Desperate’ Officials Make Phone Calls Urging Iranians to Mourn Ebrahim Raisi

Iranian opposition activists said on Wednesday they had received calls from “desperate” officials urging them to attend a memorial service for President Ebrahim Raisi.

The regime has suppressed expressions of joy and relief by dissidents since Raisi’s death. Helicopter crash on sunday.

The administration quickly realized there was a problem here. public reaction Frustrated Iranians celebrated the news by dancing in the streets and setting off fireworks. Families of women persecuted in Raisi’s brutal crackdown on the Mahsa Amini uprising and those killed by Raisi’s gangs were particularly quick to celebrate his death.

Compounding this uncertainty was the administration’s own ambivalence toward the late president and its desire to exploit the helicopter crash for political purposes. Mr Raisi was a protégé of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and was seen as the frontrunner to succeed him, but this also meant he had enemies in the endless factional battles in Tehran. . It is also possible that he could serve posthumously as a scapegoat for public dissatisfaction with the Iranian government’s corruption and incompetence.

As a result, Raisi’s funeral was a “hushed” ceremony – the description used most often by foreign media covering Wednesday’s events – and Iran’s leaders finally realised that turnout at public ceremonies of mourning would be embarrassingly low if they made no effort to bring people into the streets.

On May 21, 2024, coffins are held at the funeral of late President Ibrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahian, and six other passengers and crew who died in a helicopter crash on a foggy mountainside in northwestern Iran. People who carry. (Ahmad Zohrabi/Photo Alliance via Getty Images)

According to several activists, talked Sky News reported on Wednesday that officials made frantic phone calls to every Iranian citizen urging them to take part in events held in memory of Raisi. Iranian officials were reportedly aghast to discover that many in the country were using the five-day national mourning period declared on Sunday as an opportunity to shop and engage in leisure activities, instead of showing the desired level of grief.

“We keep receiving messages and calls from various government agencies inviting us to various memorial events. They are trying desperately to get people out,” said one of the activists. “But I don’t think many people will participate, and those who do are definitely among their own people. For the average person, this is just everyday life.”

Another activist said security around Raisi’s funeral event was extremely tight, suggesting “the regime is clearly afraid.”

“They are trying, as always, in a rather stupid way, to create an atmosphere where it seems like things are going their way. But I don’t think this will pay off,” the activist said contemptuously. told.

“We are talking about a killer and millions of Iranians have been hoping for years to see him and his cohorts prosecuted and tried in a proper court. But this time nature has intervened, as if even nature could no longer tolerate such brutality,” the second source mused.

Associated Press

Mourners hold up posters of late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during a funeral for the president and his allies who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday in a mountainous region of Iran, May 21, 2024. May 21, 2024 at the Great Mosque of Khomeini in Tehran, Iran, in the northwestern part of the country. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Activists added that public interest in rigged “elections” in June to choose Raisi’s successor was also low, with many opponents planning to boycott the vote.

Dadvan, a human rights lawyer organization based in Iran Said On Tuesday, regime security agents announced they were harassing citizens who expressed joy over Raisi’s death online. Iran’s internet censors warned on Monday that “provocative” posts will not be tolerated.

Voice of America News (VOA) I got it. There’s plenty of illegal entertainment on the Internet to keep the cyber police busy.

Critics of the Islamic Republic of Iran, both inside and outside Iran, have flooded social media with posts mocking Raisi since his death, including with the hashtag “Helicottret,” a combination of the Persian words for “helicopter” and “cutlet.” Many of the critics also celebrated the killing of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani by a U.S. missile strike in Baghdad in 2020, calling him a “cutlet.”

Persian social media users also posted videos that appeared to show people across Iran sharing sweets and chocolates to celebrate Raisi’s death on Monday.

Dadovan said prison officials also took action against a group of political prisoners who had enthusiastically celebrated Raisi’s death, taking them to an undisclosed location to silence them.

A journalist named Manije Moazenzadeh. Said On Tuesday, the government announced it was persecuting her for “my reaction to Raisi’s death and how I reported it.”

Moazenzadeh said he was detained for 19 days in 2022 for writing articles offensive to the regime. He did not say which part of the article about Raisi’s death had angered the Culture and Media Prosecutor’s Office, but it is possible that the office had not yet informed her of the alleged mistakes she made.

Ceremonies marking Raisi’s death were held outside Iranian diplomatic facilities in London, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, The Hague, Stockholm and Toronto, beyond the reach of the Iranian regime’s secret police and censors.

Rescuers recover bodies at the crash site of a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahian and others on May 20, 2024, in the fog-shrouded mountainous region of Varzagan in northwestern Iran. Squad. (Ajin Hagigi/Homu Tsushinsha/AFP via Getty Images)

“My happiness knows no limits. Today is a great day for the Iranian people.” Said Esmat Vatanparast, an elderly Iranian living in exile in Sweden, fled Iran with his family during the mass executions of political prisoners and dissidents that Raisi oversaw in the 1980s. ” was given the nickname.

“I am happy at this moment because a symbol of murder has disappeared. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to hear the news of this executioner’s death,” said Mehdi Asllani, another survivor of Raisi’s execution, who fled to Germany in 1988.

Many Iranian exiles say their only regret is that Raisi was never tried for crimes against humanity and took so many secrets to his grave.

Ali Safavi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Said It said Tuesday that the celebrations underscored the “deep hatred and loathing felt by the Iranian people towards Mr. Raisi, a figure inextricably linked to the darkest chapters of Iran’s recent history.”