Iran bids former president farewell
– 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