Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who served as Iran's president from 1989 until 1997, is to be buried on January 10, which has been declared a public holiday in Iran.
Iran has begun three days of mourning for former President Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani, who died on January 8 of a heart attack at the age of 82.
President Hassan Rohani and his administration on January 9 paid respects to Rafsanjani at northern Tehran's Jamaran prayer hall, where Rafsanjani's body was laid out.
President Rohani paying respect to Ayatollah Rafsanjani
(photo by Islamic Republic News Agency)
The mosque is on the grounds of the former residence of Islamic republic founder
Ayatollah Rohullah Khomeini.
Other mourners paying respects to Rafsanjani at the Jamaran prayer hall on January 9 included included Rafsanjani's family members -- some of whom wept at the sight of his coffin and reached out to touch it.
Meanwhile, Iranians from all walks of life across Iran were expressing grief
over his death a day before his January 10 burial.
The date has been declared a public holiday in Iran.
Rafsanjani, who served as Iran's president from 1989 until 1997, also headed
Iran's Expediency Council -- a body that is intended to resolve disputes between
the parliament and powerful clerics on the unelected Guardians Council.
Rafsanjani was also a member of the Assembly of Experts -- Iran's top clerical body, charged with appointing, and if required dismissing, the country's supreme leader.
He had been regarded as a "pragmatic conservative" who was open to improving ties with the West.
Iranian human rights lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi told
RFE/RL that Rafsanjani was at least "aware" of "many human rights tragedies" and
abuses in Iran during his presidency.
"Therefore, his human rights records are by no means positive," Ebadi said.
With reporting by AP and BBC
Death of Iran's Rafsanjani Removes Influential Voice Against Hard-Liners
With the death of Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Sunday, Iran's political factions knew immediately that any space by reformers to maneuver had just significantly decreased. - Thomas Erdbrink, New York Times
Iran Just Lost Its Most Influential Power-Broker. Now, Everything Could
The sudden passing of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani could fundamentally redraw the political map in Iran -TIME
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani: Iran's evolving revolutionary
Iran's former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died on Sunday, was a pivotal figure in the foundation of the Islamic republic in 1979 and he continued to shape it. -AFP
... Payvand News - 01/09/17 ... --