According to Iranian media, the former president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a prominent figure in the political life of the country since the 1980s, has died at the age of 82.
Reports said that Mr. Rafsanjani had a heart attack.
He served as president 1989-1997 but lost to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he ran again in 2005.
Although Rafsanjani was part of a religious institution, it was seen as a “pragmatic conservative” open to improve relations with the West.
It was his final role of Chairman of the Expediency Council,
which is trying to resolve differences between Parliament and the Council of Guardians, but his power has diminished now.
The council consists of 12 members, the dominant force in Iran to explain the constitution, Rafsanjani,
who has ruled out after he entered the race for the presidential elections in 2013 as a reformist candidate.
Rafsanjani denounced the move as “ignorant,” saying: “I do not think he can run the country the worst.”
He then presented his support for the victorious candidate, Hassan Rohani, who ran on a “moderate and sensible” logo and attracted suspected militants.
It was said that the two men had an intimate relationship was seen Mr. Rouhani in Tehran Martyrs Hospital shortly before the announcement of the death. It is said that the crowd that gathered at the hospital after the announcement.
Blow to the reformers? Barham Pourparsa, BBC Monitoring
The sudden death of a political pragmatist seasoned be a major blow to President Rouhani. President, who is preparing himself for re-election in May, has been a valuable ally and an influential figure who was the founding father of the Islamic Republic.
This explains why Mr. Rohani was the first senior official to attend the hospital where Mr. Rafsanjani died. Reports say Mr. Rouhani to cry.
Since the presidential election in 2013, Mr. Rafsanjani, with the full support of Mr. Rouhani. Mr. Rafsanjani also a strong supporter of the historic nuclear deal with world powers in 2015.
But in a complex political landscape in Iran, and death can also mobilize the moderate pro-Rouhani and reformists before the election.
After his defeat in 2005, Mr. Rafsanjani became openly criticized President Ahmadinejad.
In 2009, he sided with the reformers who disputed election that year, despite the fact that Ahmadinejad hard-liners won a second term.
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