A mourning crowd of thousands erupted onto the streets of Tehran, chanting “Good bye, Old combatant” at the funeral of former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
Rafsanjani, died of heart attack on Sunday at the age of 82, was former Iranian revolutionary leader; he played a key role in 1979’s Iranian revolution.
Tens of thousands of mourners gathered at Tehran University where they were led in prayers by Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Khamenei had tweeted the day before about the irreparable loss of a companion.
His abundant wisdom & unique intimacy through years, was a confident fulcrum for everyone who was working with him, particularly myself.
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) January 8, 2017
Khamenei stood next to the current Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani as they prayed in front of Rafsanjani’s closed coffin.
According to Iranian media, Iran’s most prominent Sunni cleric Sheikh Mowlavi Abdul hamid also attended Rafsanjani’s funeral.
A huge crowd line Tehran streets to say farewell to Hashemi, a politician with a complicated record who regained popularity in recent years. pic.twitter.com/joWMIrElg9
— Sadegh Ghorbani (@GhorbaniSadegh) January 10, 2017
Rafsanjani was the de facto commander-in-chief of the Iranian military during Iran-Iraq war. Rafsanjani was elected chairman of the Iranian parliament in 1980 and served until 1989. He played an important role in the choice of Ali Khamenei as Supreme Leader.
Rafsanjani became president of Iran after winning 1989 election. He served another term by winning election in 1993. In 2005 election he ran for a third term in office, placing first in the first round of elections but ultimately losing to rival Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the run-off.