Iran mourns Rafsanjani

Iran mourns Rafsanjani

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets on Tuesday to mourn the death of former President Akbar Hashemi

Photo: Raheb Homavandi/Reuters

Photo: Raheb Homavandi/Reuters

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets on Tuesday to mourn the death of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died of a heart attack on Sunday.

A supporter of current centrist President Hassan Rouhani, Rafsanjani ­was a regime loyalist, but one who pushed back against the hardline approach adopted by many. As such, the former president expertly navigated between conservative and moderate factions in Iranian politics, often helping to find consensus in the most impossible of deadlocks. With the country set to hold a presidential election in May, Mr Rafsanjani’s influence will be sorely missed by his protégé, President Rouhani.

Authorities declared Tuesday a public holiday and his unexpected death has been met with a wave of condolences. One even emerged from the most unusual of places: The White House.