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.
Simon is the founder of Foreign Brief who served as managing director from 2015 to 2021. A lawyer by training, Simon has worked as an analyst and adviser in the private sector and government. Simon’s desire to help clients understand global developments in a contextualised way underpinned the establishment of Foreign Brief. This aspiration remains the organisation’s driving principle.