Former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani passes away

Former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani passes away

Former president of Iran Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has died at the age of 82.

Rafsanjani, president from 1989 to 1997, suffered a heart attack. He was admitted to the Shohadaa Hospital in Tehran on Sunday, where doctors tried unsuccessfully for an hour to save him, media said.

A TV broadcaster broke into programmes to bring the news, saying Mr Rafsanjani "after a life full of restless efforts in the path of Islam and revolution, had departed for lofty heaven".

In recent years, he has been a central figure in the reform movement that has been trying to have a moderating influence on Iran and Ayatollah Khamenei, BBC reports.

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