On January 8, 2017 at the age of 82 in Tehran died the big Iranian ecclesiastic and politician, chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council - Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani.

He was one of the most influential political figures in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani was president of the Council of Experts, the first chairman of the Islamic Consultative Assembly and fourth President of the Islamic Republic of Iran for two terms from 1989 to 1997.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was born on August 4, 1934 in the village of Bahreman, close to the city of Rafsanjani, to a relatively wealthy family. He got married in 1959 and had 5 children. At the age of 14 he went to study theology in Qom. There under the influence of the teachings and sermons of Ayatollah Khomeini he became interested in politics. In 1962 he started his active political actions and opposed the government of Shah Mohammad Reza and his White Revolution.

The movement, which Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, along with other clergy started as a protest against the imprisonment of Imam Khomeini in 1964, is a clear example of his support to him.

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani is one of the few prominent figures in the modern history of Iran, who spent their lives fighting the puppet regime of Pahlavi, in the effort and desire to win and strengthen the foundations of the Islamic Revolution.

From the very beginning of the Islamic movement he is next to its supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei and his teacher Ayatollah Khomeini in the process of informing the sleepy at this period society. He was repeatedly put into jail, subjected to brutal torture. He was a trusted supporter of the fighters for freedom in the country and beyond. The worthy service of this pious person as an Islamic scholar, intelligent politician, visionary and realistic statesman in the Council of the Revolution, President of the Islamic Consultative Assembly in the 8-year period of construction of Iran and Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council of the System is evident for all. So is his work as a war commander during the period of the sacred defense. These are just some of the brilliant and prominent highlights of the activities of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Even before the Islamic Revolution, during the movement of Imam Khomeini, and after it, with his active position, Hashemi Rafsanjani was a key figure on the political scene in Iran.

 Looking at the authentic and credible documents, one can find traces of his deeds in various political occasions. With his high political intelligence and profound attitude, he was the hope and support of the people and the officials in times of internal and external crises.

After the death of Imam Khomeini, he was a close friend and collaborator of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. As someone concerned about the system and the revolution, on the way of Velayet, he has always had fair and committed cooperation with the supreme leader of the country.

On the occasion of the death of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, the wise leader of the revolution, Ayatollah Khamenei said: „The loss of my comrade and companion, of the cooperation and the commitment that date back to 59 years ago, is hard and heart-rending. What difficulties and bottlenecks we went through over these scores of years, and what joint ideas and empathy we had, in many junctures of time they motivated us to make effort and tolerate hardships and accept risks along with each other on a common path. His high intellect and unique sincerity in those years was a trustworthy point of reliance for all those who worked with him, especially for me.“

Undoubtedly, the death of this wise person is considered irreversible loss for the great Iranian nation, his name will shine as an eternal image in the history of the achievements and successes of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his bright soul will be an inspiration to the well-wishers and the standard bearers of the development and achievements our state.

The Embassy and the Cultural Centre of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Republic of Bulgaria extends its condolences for this loss, praying Allah for forgiveness and wishing patience to the family of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani. May his soul rest in peace and may Allah bless him.

In the pictures - different moments of the life of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

The material is provided by the Embassy and Cultural Centre of the Islamic Republic of Iran.