Iran bids former pres­i­dent farewell

The Citizen (KZN) - - WORLD - Tehran

– Hun­dreds of thou­sands of mourn­ers, led by Iran’s supreme leader, gath­ered at Tehran Univer­sity early yes­ter­day for the fu­neral of former pres­i­dent Ak­bar Hashemi Raf­san­jani.

State tele­vi­sion showed peo­ple pour­ing on to the streets around the cam­pus where Ay­a­tol­lah Ali Khamenei led the eu­lo­gies for Raf­san­jani de­spite their “dif­fer­ences”.

Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani, par­lia­ment speaker Ali Lar­i­jani and his brother, ju­di­ciary chief Ay­a­tol­lah Sadegh Lar­i­jani, ac­com­pa­nied the supreme leader at the prayers.

Former pres­i­dent Mo­ham­mad Khatami, an ally of Raf­san­jani but long out of favour with the regime, was not part of the of­fi­cial del­e­ga­tion at the ser­vice.

The heavy­weight politi­cian, who died on Sun­day at the age of 82, will be buried in­side the crypt of Ay­a­tol­lah Ruhol­lah Khome­ini, the leader of Iran’s 1979 Is­lamic rev­o­lu­tion.

Khome­ini’s mau­soleum is in south Tehran.

Black ban­ners were raised in Tehran and some posters showed the supreme leader and Raf­san­jani to­gether smil­ing. An­other poster said “good bye, old com­bat­ant”.

Free bus or metro travel was pro­vided to the fu­neral venue. – AFP

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