Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died Sunday after suffering heart attack. He was aged 82.
Rafsanjani, who served as president from 1989 to 1997, continued to be a dominant figure in the country’s politics.
At the time of his death, Rafsanjanni headed the Expediency Council, a body which aims to resolve disputes between the parliament and the Guardian Council.
He played major role in the 1979 revolution but was despised by hardliners for better relations with the West.
His death is considered a blow for the moderates and reformists in the country particularly as the country is preparing to hold presidential elections in May.
“The soul of the great man of the Revolution, symbol of patience and resistance have gone to Heaven, President Hassan Rouhani, who allied himself to win the 2013 vote, tweeted.
In his reaction, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said: “Attempts by wicket peope who tried to take advantage of our differences of opinion never affected his deep personal wartmth towards me.”
Rafsanjani’s funeral ceremony will be held in Tehran on Tuesday. A three-day of mourning has been announced in Iran for his death including a public holiday on Tuesday.