RFL/RE – The funeral of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is being held in Tehran.
A national holiday has been declared.
Rafsanjani, who served as Iran’s president from 1989 to 1997, died of heart failure on January 9 at the age of 82.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, held prayers over Rafsanjani’s casket. According to state television, Khamenei participated in the ceremony despite his “differences” with Rafsanjani, who was widely considered a reformist moderate.
President Hassan Rohani, parliament speaker Ali Larijani, and his brother, judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, were also among the officials who took part in the events.
Major General Qassem Suleimani, the hard-line conservative leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ foreign-operations division, also attended.
The streets of the capital were festooned with black banners and portraits of Rafsanjani. Fares for public transport were waived.