– Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is dead- The Iranian leader died in hospital in Tehran where he was taken after suffering a heart attack at the age of 82- He is survived by his wife and five childrenThe Iranian leader died in hospital in Tehran where he was taken after suffering a heart attack on Sunday, January 8, at the age of 82.Rafsanjani was an influential figure in Iran, and headed the Expediency Council, a body which is intended to resolve disputes between the parliament and the Guardian Council.The cleric was one of the architects of the Islamic Revolution that deposed theshah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in 1979 and established a religious state.
Rafsanjani served as president from 1989 to 1997, during a period of significant changes in Iran. At the time, the country was struggling to rebuild itseconomy after a devastating 1980s war with Iraq, while also cautiously allowing some wider freedoms, as seen in Iran’s highly regarded film and media industry.Farshad Ghorbanpour, a political analyst close to the reformists, said:“He will be missed, but he was increasingly powerless, but gave us hope. Now we will have to do without him.”Rafsanjani had a long career as a revolutionary, but was also suspected of accumulating great wealth and influence. He was one of the leaders of the 1979 Islamic revolution, an aide to the founder of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.He is survived by his wife, Effat Marashi,and five children.