27 May 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 01/10/2017, 17.48

    IRAN

    Tehran mourns Rafsanjani’s death



    Tens of thousands of people joined the country's leaders in today’s funeral. Dubbed the “Shark" and "pragmatic", the late president (1989-1997) was Ayatollah Khomeini’s confidante. Spearheading the alliance between moderates and reformers, he was instrumental in Rouhani’s victory. His death comes a few months before upcoming presidential elections, which are shaping up to be an uphill battle.

    Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Tens of thousands of mourners gathered at Tehran University for the funeral of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjan who suffered a fatal heart attack on Sunday at the age of 82.

    Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stood next to President Hassan Rouhani and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani as he led the funeral service.

    Black banners waved across the capital with posters showing Khamenei and Rafsanjani together, smiling. One poster said ‘Good bye, old combatant’.

    Free bus or underground train travel was provided to the funeral venue.

    Rafsanjani, a close aide to the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, was parliamentary speaker until Khomeini’s death in 1989.

    He was also a major supporter of Rouhani and served as a go-between for pro-overture reformers and hard-liners.

    Nicknamed the “Shark", he was seen as pragmatic. A close confidante of Khomeini and one of the military leaders during the terrible war with Iraq (1980 - 1988), he helped launch the Iranian nuclear programme.

    At the time, relations with Europe and the United States began to deteriorate when Khomeini issued a fatwa imposing a death sentence on Salman Rushdie.

    By contrast, his term as president (1989-1997) was a time of cautious reforms and an attempt to restore relations between Iran and its Arab neighbours, and the West.

    He was considered a protector of moderates, which made him an enemy of conservatives. However, many reformers distrusted him because he was seen as a man of the regime and had been accused of involvement in the killing of dissidents.

    In a statement, Khamenei said that "The loss of my companion of struggle, whose cooperation with me dated back 59 years, is difficult and overwhelming". Although noting that "The different opinions and interpretations at times in this long period could never entirely break up the friendship" between us, the supreme leader did criticise Rafsanjani during his second mandate for his liberal economic policies.

    In 2005, when Rafsanjani ran again, Khamenei sided with ultraconservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad helping him win. In fact, tensions with the Supreme Leader limited his power, so much so that his daughter Faezeh – considered his political heir – and his son Mehdi were jailed, which led him to take a low profile.

    Still, he was able to establish an alliance of moderates and reformers to support the little-known moderate Hassan Rouhani, ensuring his victory in 2013.

    Two years later, when most of the best-known pro-reform candidates were not allowed to run in the parliamentary elections, Rafsanjani convinced reformers to support moderate candidates. This led to a major defeat for conservatives and hardliners who lost control of parliament after 12 years of almost total domination.

    With Rafsanjani’s death, Rouhani has lost a major ally ahead of the May presidential election, whilst the shadow cast by the election of Donald Trump as US president looms large on the 2015 nuclear agreement, which hard-liners see as a failure and promise to get rid of as soon as they get the chance.

    At the same time reformers are unhappy with their share of representation in the circles of power, whilst average Iranians are unhappy with the less-than-tangible effects of the lifting of the sanctions on the their economic situation.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    07/08/2015 IRAN
    Iran nuclear deal tanks oil prices
    Following the inking of the agreement, oil prices drop below US$ 50 a barrel. Tehran is poised to boost output by 500,000 barrels after international sanctions. The US is not too concerned. Rome and Paris plan renew ties with Tehran. Energy demands are slowing as summer ends and China’s economy slows down.

    24/03/2014 TAIWAN
    Taipei, police clear students from government buildings as protest turns violent
    Unsatisfied with President Ma Ying- jeou’s promises, the students occupied the houses of government, after having staged a sit-in at parliament. The operation – which sparked conflict – ended at dawn today. Some young students’ frustration resulted in vandalism. The students speak to AsiaNews.

    02/01/2013 ASIA
    Asian markets gain on US 'fiscal cliff' deal
    Shares up by 20%. Positive data for Korean and Chinese manufacturers. Yen drops. The bipartisan congressional solution postpones problems to February, when decision must be made on debt ceiling, now amounting to 16.4 trillion dollars.

    02/11/2011 NEPAL
    Nepalese parliament reaches agreement on future of 19 thousand Maoist guerrillas
    Over 6500 former paramilitary integrated into the army. The remaining 12,500 will be included in programs for absorption into society. The landmark decision comes five years after the Civil War. Radical fringes of the Maoist party protest.

    01/08/2011 ASIA
    Asian stock markets gain after United States default deal
    Tokyo closes up 1.34%, Manila + 1.04. Positive openings in Hong Kong and Mumbai.



    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan



    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.


    VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®