The death of Iran’s notorious president Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash last week has reignited tensions among the Islamic Republic’s exiled opposition, with violent clashes erupting on the streets of London over the weekend.

On Friday, a candlelight vigil for Raisi in the heart of Wembley quickly descended into chaos as protesters confronted the late tyrant’s supporters, leading to four people being injured and one  arrest, according to the Metropolitan Police.

Raisi, a hardline cleric and former judge known as the “Butcher of Tehran” for his role in the mass execution of political prisoners in the 1980s, died last week when his helicopter crashed near Azerbaijan. His death has been met with jubilation by many Iranian dissidents, who see it as a blow to the regime’s oppressive apparatus.

Undaunted by Friday’s violence, hundreds of Iranian expats regrouped on Saturday outside the Iranian Embassy, demanding justice for Raisi’s victims. As the demonstrations unfolded under a watchful police presence, some protesters set fire to photos of Raisi in a defiant gesture of condemnation.

Many also carried signs calling on the Biden administration to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, a move that would open the door to tougher sanctions and other measures to curb the regime’s despotic grip on its people and the Middle East.

The Iranian diaspora in London has grown substantially over the decades, with successive waves of migration following major upheaval in the Arab country, such as the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) and the 2009 Green Movement protests.

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