Tehran: Chairman of the Expediency Council and former president of Iran Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has passed away at the age of 82 due to heart condition.
Ayatollah Rafsanjani was admitted to a hospital in northern Tehran on Sunday after having an acute heart attack.Born on August 25, 1934, the influential Iranian politician and writer was the fourth president of the Islamic Republic, serving from 1989 to 1997.
Rafsanjani was the head of the Assembly of Experts from 2007 to 2011. The influential cleric was elected chairman of the Iranian parliament in 1980 and served until 1989. He assumed office as the Chairman of the Expediency Council in 1989.
As s president of Iran from 1989 to 1997 he played an important role in the choice of Ali Khamenei as Supreme Leader. In 2005 he ran for a third term in office, placing first in the first round of elections but ultimately losing to rival Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the run-off round of the 2005 election.
Rafsanjani has been described as a pragmatic conservative, while The Economist has described him as a “veteran kingmaker. He supports a free market position domestically, favoring privatization of state-owned industries, and a moderate position internationally, seeking to avoid conflict with the United States and the West.
In 1997 during the Mykonos trial in Germany, it was declared that Rafsanjani (then President of Iran), along with Supreme Leader Khameini, Foreign Minister Velayati, and Intelligence Minister Fallahian, was complicit in assassinations of Iranian dissident opposition activists in Europe. He is considered to be the richest person in Iran.