Influential former Iranian leader Rafsanjani dies at 82

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a wily political survivor and multimillionaire mogul who remained among the ruling elite despite moderate views, died Sunday, state TV reported. He was 82.

Iranian media reported earlier Sunday that he was taken to a hospital north of Tehran because of a heart condition. State television broke into programming to announce his death, the female newscaster’s voice quivering as she read the news.

She said Rafsanjani, “after a life full of restless efforts in the path of Islam and revolution, had departed for lofty heaven.”

Rafsanjani, who served as president from 1989 to 1997, is a leading politician who has often played kingmaker in the country's turbulent politics. He supported President Hassan Rouhani.

Rafsanjani was head of the Expediency Council, a body that advises Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and in March he won a seat on the clerical body that will one day decide Khamenei's successor.

© 2017 Associated Press


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