Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

A former president of Iran, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, has died:

While he was involved with the 1979 revolution, Rafsanjani frequently railed against the hardliners in his country and was president from 1989 to 1997. Prior to his presidency, he helped bring an end to the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq War by encouraging his country to accept the US resolution that ended the war; Rafsanjani had, in that war, been appointed by the Ayatollah to be the commander-in-chief of the military. He ran for a third term as president in 2005 but Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defeated him. Rafsanjani backed Hassan Rouhani in 2013 and was a strong ally of his.

As president, he was known for being a moderate and strongly pursued moderate causes, hence his support for the aforementioned Rouhani. Let's hope his death emboldens rather than demotivates Iran's moderates and progressives; Iran doesn't need to return to the old ways of the hardliners.

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