Powerful former Iranian president Rafsanjani dies in Tehran hospital

Posted at 11:57 AM, Jan 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-08 12:07:47-05

The official IRNA news agency reported earlier in the day that Rafsanjani had been taken to a public hospital north of the capital, Tehran. The semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Mohammad Hashemi, his brother, as saying that Rafsanjani was in good condition.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reportedly visited Rafsanjani in the hospital and a short time later the former president was dead.

Rafsanjani, who served as president from 1989 to 1997, was a leading politician who has often played kingmaker in the country’s turbulent politics. He supported Rouhani.

Rafsanjani was the current head of the Expediency Council, a body that advises Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and in March he won a seat on a clerical body that will one day decide Khamenei’s successor.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.