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Former Iranian President Rafsanjani dies

Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died Sunday after suffering a heart attack, Iranian state-run media said. He was 82.

 

Rafsanjani, who served two terms as Iran's president from 1989 to 1997, continued to be an influential figure in Iranian politics.

At the time of his death he was the chairman of the Expediency Council, which aims to settle disputes between the country's parliament and the Guardian Council.
Throughout his political career, the former president was seen as a conduit for better relations with the West.
In a sign of mourning, state television channel Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN) aired a black banner on the corner of its broadcast.

Rafsanjani was a vocal supporter of current Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. After his death, Rouhani posted praise on Twitter for the former president who once earned the nicknamed Akbar Shah, or Great King.
"The spirit of the giant of the revolution and politics, the symbol of patience and resilience has soared to the skies," the tweet said.