Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (Persian: اکبر هاشمی رفسنجانی, romanized: Akbar Hāshemī Rafsanjānī pronunciation or Hashemi Bahramani, also known as Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; 25 August 1934 – 8 January 2017) was an influential Iranian politician, writer and one of the founding fathers of the Islamic Republic who was the fourth President of Iran from 3 August 1989 until 3 August 1997. He was the head of the Assembly of Experts from 2007 until 2011, when he decided not to nominate himself for the post. He was also the chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council.
During his 40-year tenure, Rafsajani amassed a large amount of power serving as the speaker of parliament, Commander-in-Chief during the Iran Iraq War, President, and chose Ali Khamenei as the supreme leader of Iran. His powerful role and control over Iranian politics earned him the name “Akbar Shah”.Rafsanjani became president of Iran after winning the 1989 election. He served another term by winning the election in 1993. In the 2005 election he ran for a third term in office, placing first in the first round of elections but ultimately losing to rival Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the run-off. He and his family faced political isolation for their support of the opposition in 2009. Rafsanjani entered the race for the 2013 presidential election, but he was disqualified by the Guardian Council. With Hassan Rouhani’s election, in which Rafsanjani openly supported him, the Rafsanjani family gradually recovered their political reputation. Rafsanjani died following a heart attack on 8 January 2017 in a hospital in Tehran at the age of 82. Although, government officials attributed his death to cardiac arrest his sudden death prompted speculation that he had been assassinated. His family strongly asserted that he had been murdered. Further investigation revealed that his body was highly radioactive.Rafsanjani has been described as having been a pragmatic Islamic conservative. The Economist called him a “veteran kingmaker”. He supported a free market position domestically, favoring privatization of state-owned industries and a moderate position internationally, seeking to avoid conflict with the United States and the West. He was also founder and one of the Board of Trustees of Azad University. In 2003, Forbes estimated his personal wealth to be in excess of US$1 billion.