TEHRAN: Iran’s former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a pugnacious political survivor despite his support for moderates, died on Sunday after suffering a heart attack, news agencies reported.
Rafsanjani, who was 82, was a pivotal figure in the foundation of the Islamic republic in 1979, and served as president from 1989 to 1997. He had been admitted to the Shohadaa Hospital in northern Tehran, one of his relatives, Hossein Marashi, was quoted as saying by the agencies.
“Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was transferred to hospital after a heart attack,” Reza Soleimani, a speaker of the Expediency Council, Iran’s main political arbitration body which Rafsanjani chaired. “Despite the efforts of the doctors he died,” he said, quoted by state broadcaster IRIB.
Rafsanjani’s death is a huge loss for both reformists and moderates, as he stood as a pillar for the two camps.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2017.
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