Former Iranian President laid to rest in Tehran

Tehran, Jan 10 (IANS) With the country’s top leader Ayatollah Khamenei leading the mass funeral procession, thousands of Iranians from all walks of life turned out in the capital Tehran on Tuesday to bid adieu to former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

The funeral, which started at 10 a.m. at the Tehran University, saw top Iranian civil and military leadership among the mourners.

President from 1989 to 1997, Rafsanjani, who died on Sunday following a heart attack at the age of 82, was buried next to late Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini.

A veteran cleric and an influential politician, Rafsanjani, a close ally of Khomeini, served in different positions after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Rafsanjani, also a key supporter of President Hassan Rouhani, backed Iran’s landmark nuclear deal in June 2015 with the world powers — the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.

Rafsanjani’s youngest son Yaser, 46, thanked those mourning his father for their “loyalty and kindness”.

“I see scenes of affection that I cannot believe. People’s prayers for our father console our hearts,” he said.

–IANS

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