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Nationwide Shock as Former President Dies of Heart Attack (Photo)

A former president has died a tragic death in hospital after he suffered a horrific heart attack in his home.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

A former Iranian president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has died in hospital in Tehran where he was taken after suffering a heart attack on Sunday, State run Press TV reports.

Rafsanjani, 82, reportedly died from a heart attack despite efforts by doctors to save him.

Rafsanjani was an influential figure in Iran, and headed the Expediency Council, a body which is intended to resolve disputes between the parliament and the Guardian Council.

Tasnim news agency also quoted his relative and aide Hossein Marashi as saying that Hasehmi had died at the hospital in Tehran.

The cleric was one of the architects of the Islamic Revolution that deposed the shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in 1979 and established a religious state. He served as president between 1989 and 1997.

“Ayatollah Hashemi-Rafsanjani, the head of the expediency discernment council, after a lifetime of ceaseless endeavors towards the path of Islam and the revolution, left this world,” a ticker on the state television Channel One read.

His death is a huge blow for Iran’s marginalized reformist movement, and moderates in the government, for whom the Shiite Muslim cleric was a leader and figurehead.

“He will be missed,” said Farshad Ghorbanpour, a political analyst close to the reformists, “but he was increasingly powerless, but gave us hope. Now we will have to do without him.”

Mr. Rafsanjani had a long career as a revolutionary, but was also suspected of accumulating great wealth and influence.

He was one of the leaders of the 1979 Islamic revolution, an aide to the founder of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

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