The chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council and veteran statesman, who was a close confidante of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, suffered imprisonment during the monarchical regime. He whole-heartedly helped the movement that led to the victory of Islamic Revolution of 1979.
Ayatollah Rafsanjani served as Tehran’s Friday prayer leader, interior minister (1979-80), parliament speaker (1980-89), president (1989-97) and chairman of the Assembly of Experts (2007-11).
Rafsanjani was known as a pragmatic and moderate politician on whose watch major economic reforms and nationwide construction projects were implemented after the end of the devastating Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. The distinguished cleric played a central role in efforts that culminated in the end of the eight-year war.
In the 2013 presidential election, the reformist-leaning figure became a key backer of President Hassan Rouhani, whose endorsement is widely viewed as a key contributor to Rouhani’s landslide electoral victory.
In his public addresses over the past few years, Ayatollah Rafsanjani consistently supported the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and major powers and approved Rouhani’s efforts to revive the sanctions-hit economy and open up to the outside world.
Top-level foreign and domestic dignitaries have issued statements of condolences over the shock demise of the ayatollah and lauded his invaluable services to the country throughout his illustrious political career.
The government has announced three days of public mourning.