Iranian protesters express 'joy' over death of President Ebrahim Raisi in helicopter crash

Iranian protesters have expressed "joy" over the death of President Ebrahim Raisi who was dubbed the "butcher of Tehran".

Speaking to Sky News' The World With Yalda Hakim, three Iranians spoke on the condition of anonymity over fears of being tracked down by the country's regime.

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A protest leader - who is currently in hiding - suggested Sunday's crash, that also killed Iran's foreign minister, was "pre-planned".

"We may not be across everything, but it's been a known fact for a long time that Raisi was a serious contender to replace the Supreme Leader Khamenei, and perhaps some didn't want that to happen.

"But all in all, this was very good news.

"All I can say is that the only thing that has made me truly happy over the past five years has been the news of Raisi's death."

Mr Raisi's time in charge included major protests over Mahsa Amini - the woman who died after she was arrested for allegedly not wearing her hijab properly.

The US said Mr Raisi had "blood on his hands" as the former hardline cleric was "a brutal participant in the repression of the Iranian people for nearly four decades".

Iran also took the unprecedented decision in April to launch a drone and missile attack on Israel.

A 23-year-old student - who has taken part in a number of protests - said: "The death of Raisi has made the people of Iran very happy.

"On the streets, people were handing out sweets, they were smiling at each other.

"That's the extent to which this news has spread joy amongst people."

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A housewife, who was beaten up for taking parting in the "Woman, Life, Protest" movements, said: "The public hatred towards this regime is not a secret to anyone.

"Raisi's death proved that the pain that this inflicted on our people will one day hit them back.

"My personal reaction to the death of Raisi... I was very happy.

"I'm not upset at all. Even though I never wish death on anyone, but this man, not only did he not do anything for our nation, but he ordered the death of countless young innocent people."

Following news of Mr Raisi's death, US State department spokesperson Matt Miller said the Iranian president "was involved in numerous horrific human rights abuses, including playing a key role in the extra judicial killing of thousands of political prisoners in 1988".

"Some of the worst human rights abuses occurred during his tenure as president, especially the human rights abuses against the women and girls of Iran," he added.

The US approach to Iran "will not change" because of Mr Raisi's death, Mr Miller said.