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Chairman of Expediency Council Ayatollah Rafsanjani passes away

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Chairman of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani passes away due to heart disease.

Chairman of the Expediency Council 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.

This undated photo shows the last session of Iran's Expediency Council headed by its late chairman, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attended the hospital where Ayatollah Rafsanjani was hospitalized, undergoing treatment.

Head of Tehran’s Shohada Hospital has declared heart arrest as the cause of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani’s passing away.  

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani was among the main aides to late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini.

This file photo shows Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (L) standing next to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei (C) and late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini.

He played an influential role both during anti-Shah struggles before the victory of the Islamic Revolution and afterwards through various stages of the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Rafsanjani was also a key figure during the eight years of Iraq’s imposed war on Iran (1980-88), serving as substitute to commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

According to IRNA news agency, the funeral for Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani will be held in Tehran on Tuesday. 

In a statement, the Iranian administration announced a three-day mourning period across the country and declared Tuesday as a national holiday.

Condolence messages pour in from Iran state officials, bodies

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani issued a condolence message on his Twitter account soon after Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani’s demise in which he said, “The soul of the great man of the revolution and politics has soared to the sky.”

Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi also released a message, expressing his grief over passing away of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani.

In his message, Shahroudi described Rafsanjani as a true follower of late Imam Khomeini, who spared nothing on the path of the Islamic Revolution and was among confidantes of Imam Khomeini who shouldered heavy responsibilities following the Islamic Revolution.

Many Iranian officials and state organs have offered their condolences over the demise of Ayatollah Rafsanjani.

Chairman of the Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said the influential figure diligently shouldered important responsibilities after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Ayatollah Jannati also condoled with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on the demise of Ayatollah Rafsanjani. 

Meanwhile, the Guardian Council expressed grief over Ayatollah Rafsanjani’s demise and said he provided great services to the Islamic Republic in different areas.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, for his part, expressed his condolences to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and Iranian nation, particularly Ayatollah Rafsanjani’s family.

He said the late cleric always made great efforts in carrying out his sensitive and crucial responsibilities and played a prominent and influential role in managing the country’s economic and social affairs as well as the complicated and difficult foreign policy of the Islamic Republic.

Foreign officials, dignitaries express condolences over Rafsanjani’s demise

Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifah, the foreign minister of Bahrain, posted a message on his Twitter account expressing his condolences on passing away of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Meanwhile, the Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and Palestine’s Islamic Jihad Organization expressed their sorrow over the passing away of Iran's former president.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has also issued a message of condolence on the occasion of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani’s demise.

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