Former President of Iran Rafsanjani dies at 82

Former President of Iran Rafsanjani dies at 82

Iran's ex-president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

Tehran — Iran’s ex-president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a dominant figure in the country’s politics since the 1980s, has died at the age of 82.

Rafsanjani, president from 1989 to 1997, suffered a heart attack.

He played a pivotal role in the 1979 revolution but later in life became a counterpoint to hardline conservatives.

Ali Khamenei hailed a “companion of struggle” despite their differences, saying that the loss was “difficult and overwhelming”.

“The different opinions and interpretations at times in this long period could never entirely break up the friendship” between us, Khamenei said.

Rafsanjani was admitted to the Shohadaa Hospital in Tehran on Sunday, where doctors tried unsuccessfully for an hour to save him, media said.