Influential former Iranian leader Rafsanjani dead at age 82

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former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani_330952

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iranian state media says influential former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has died at age 82.

Iranian media earlier said Rafsanjani been hospitalized because of a heart condition.

Rafsanjani, who served as president from 1989 to 1997, is a leading politician who has often played kingmaker in the country’s turbulent politics. He supported President Hassan Rouhani.

Rafsanjani was head of the Expediency Council, a body that advises Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and in March he won a seat on the clerical body that will one day decide Khamenei’s successor.

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