Rafsanjani's death is heavy loss for Iran

Iran has declared three days of national mourning due to the death of the former president of Iran Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, making Tuesday a public holiday for his burial.

Rafsanjani has died aged 82 on January 8 due to heart complications at the Shohadaye Tajrish hospital. On Sunday night, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and others visited the hospital to see Rafsanjani one final time before his body was taken to a mosque ahead of burial. His son Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was jailed in 2015 after being convicted of "security offences and financial crimes", was also allowed to visit him.

"The different opinions and interpretations at time in this long period could never entirely break up the friendship between us," Ayatollah Khamenei said.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was born in 1934 in south-eastern Iran to a family of farmers. He studied theology in the holy city of Qom with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. In the last year of the 1980-88 war with Iraq, Ayatollah Khomeini appointed him acting commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Rafsanjani was a pivotal figure in the foundation of the Islamic republic in 1979, and served as president from 1989 to 1997.

He was seen as the main mover behind Iran's acceptance of the UN Security Council resolution that ended the war. Rafsanjani was also a key player in the development of Iran's nuclear programme, and recently gave staunch support to the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

A senior research fellow of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Sazhin, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, said that Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's death is a severe psychological loss for the supporters of a more liberal policy of Iran, despite the fact that the ex-president cannot be considered a liberal.

"Rafsanjani was a prominent political figure in Iran, I would call him one of the key figures of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Of course, this man was faithful to the ideals of the Islamic revolution. At the same time, unlike many other Iranian politicians and ayatollahs, he was always pragmatic and understand both the internal and international situation in Iran. Being a president of Iran for 8 years, Rafsanjani has done a lot in terms of economic recovery after the devastating Iran-Iraq war," Vladimir Sazhin noted.

"After moving away from the presidency, he held senior positions in various Islamic structures, being one of Iran's leaders, exerting an active influence on all aspects of Iranian life. He was one of his opponents of the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and did everything possible to ensure that the country actively fitted into the global economy. In recent years, he has taken a more liberal stance. Many of his statements and actions suggest that he welcomed and supported the course of the current President Hassan Rouhani. That is why it is a great loss for Iran," the expert stressed.

Iran will really miss such a strong statesman like Rafsanjani, however, we should not expect radical changes in the current policy of the republic because of this," Vladimir Sazhin concluded.

1840 views

Read on the subject


More Iran News

This is how many barrels of oil the 13 OPEC countries produced last month

This is how many barrels of oil the 13 OPEC countries produced last month

The oil cartel continues to dominate global oil markets

US Senate introduces new Iran sanctions bill

US Senate introduces new Iran sanctions bill

Ahead of AIPAC conference

Iran sanctions 15 US firms

Iran sanctions 15 US firms

Iran has imposed sanctions on 15 US companies for alleged human rights violations and cooperating with Israel, Reuters reported citing the state news agency IRNA. The agency quoted Iran's foreign ministry as saying the …

UN envoy calls on powers to salvage Syrian ceasefire

UN envoy calls on powers to salvage Syrian ceasefire

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura called on Russia, Turkey and Iran to salvage the tattered ceasefire in Syria that would also help keep peace talks on track, Reuters reported. "Growing violations in recent …

Sino-Saudi alignment creates strategic opportunity for Turkey

Sino-Saudi alignment creates strategic opportunity for Turkey

Erdogan declared Turkey’s national interests as “residing in the Suez Canal, the adjacent seas, and from there extending to the Indian Ocean”

Medvedev and Rouhani to discuss trade between Tehran and EAEU

Medvedev and Rouhani to discuss trade between Tehran and EAEU

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Iranian President Hassan Ruhani will discuss the formation of trade regime between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Tehran on March 27 in Moscow, the press office …

One killed, 63 injured in #039130-car pile-up#039 in northeast Iran

One killed, 63 injured in '130-car pile-up' in northeast Iran

At least one person has been killed and many more wounded in a multiple-vehicle collision on a road leading to the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad, Press TV reports. “So far, 63 passengers have been injured in …

US sanctions 30 individuals, entities for ties with Iran, Syria and North Korea

US sanctions 30 individuals, entities for ties with Iran, Syria and North Korea

The United States sanctioned 30 individuals and entities in China, North Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this week for supplying goods and services in support of Iran’s ballistic missile program and other …

Vladimir Sazhin: Putin-Rouhani talks going to be interesting

Vladimir Sazhin: "Putin-Rouhani talks going to be interesting"

The senior research fellow of the Department of Near and Middle East at the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences about the significance and prospects of this visit.

Will US tighten sanction against Iran?

Will US tighten sanction against Iran?

Iran would face tighter US sanctions over ballistic missile launches and other non-nuclear activities under a bill announced on Thursday by a bipartisan group of senators. It would set mandatory sanctions for anyone involved with …

more Iran News