Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in a message offered his condolences over the death of former Iranian president Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
The Leader in his message of condolence expressed his regret and sorrow over Ayatollah Rafsanjani’s ‘sudden death’, and described him as ‘an old friend’ and ‘a comrade’ during the struggles of Islamic Revolution.
Ayatollah Khamenei further referred to 59 years of his cooperation with Rafsanjani, and stressed that his loss was overwhelming and very hard to bear.
Ayatollah Khamenei added that he and Rafsanjani had gone through many hardships and difficulties in these years.
The Leader said Rafsanjani’s high intellect and unique intimacy in their years of friendship had been a reliable support for all those years working with him, Press TV reported.
Ayatollah Khamenei further stated that some differences in opinion between the two, which occurred at times during this long period, could never sever the friendship ties between him and Ayatollah Rafsanjani.
The Leader also condoled with Rafsanjani’s wife, children, brothers and the rest of his family, wishing God’s mercy and forgiveness for the deceased cleric.
In separate messages, President Hassan Rouhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, Secretary of Guardian Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also condoled his demise.
In his message, Zarif described Rafsanjani as “a great scholar and scientist” and the “old friend of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and the late Founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini.”
Ayatollah Rafsanjani passed away at a hospital in northern Tehran on Sunday at the age of 82 due to a heart condition.
He was among the main aides to the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini.
He played an influential role both during the anti-Shah struggles before the victory of the Islamic Revolution and afterwards through various stages of the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Rafsanjani was also a key figure during the eight years of Iraq’s imposed war on Iran (1980-88), serving as substitute to commander-in-chief of the armed forces.