Birthday: August 25, 1934
Died At Age: 82
Sun Sign: Virgo
Born in: Bahreman, Iran
Famous as: Former President of Iran
Spouse/Ex-: Efat Marashi (m. 1958)
children: Faezeh Hashemi, Fatemeh, Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, Mohsen, Yasser Hashemi Rafsanjani
Died on: January 8, 2017
Who was Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani?
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was one of the great political leaders produced by Iran. Born in a family of farmers, Rafsanjani was rational in his thought since a very young age. Unlike his other contemporaries, Rafsanjani was a man who believed that Iran should maintain good relations with the West, especially the United States, and neighbouring countries. During his tenure, Rafsanjani tried making Iran a hub for international business activities by introducing various economic reforms. Though he wanted to bring a significant change in Iran, his ideas were not welcomed by all sections of the Iranian society. This also led to his temporary eviction from power, however, he soon resumed the office. Rafsanjani also played a great role in Iran’s nuclear development program. He later contradicted himself by stating that dangerous war weapons go against the principles of Islam. He repeatedly tried to establish good relations with America, and even went to the extent of saying that Iran’s nuclear development would never be a threat to the United States. However, these attempts didn’t make any impact on the equation between the two countries. Rafsanjani also penned a few books post his presidency, a famous one being the one on ‘Amir Kabir’, an Iranian political leader.
Childhood & Early Life
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was born on 25 August 1934 in a village named Bahraman, located near Rafsanjani city. His family was into farming and was quite wealthy.
In 1948, Rafsanjani shifted to Qom, a Shiite dominated city of Iran to pursue his studies in Islam. During this period, he met Ayatollah Khomeini, a religious leader and an important figure in the history of Iran. Rafsanjani was greatly influenced by Khomeini.
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Rafsanjani’s first victory in politics came in 1980, when he was elected as the speaker of the parliament. Rafsanjani served in this distinguished post for around 9 years.
1989 was a remarkable year in Rafsanjani’s life. He contested the presidential election and became the fourth president of Iran. Rafsanjani had a big responsibility in hand, since he had succeeded the famous leader Ali Khomeini after the latter’s death.
Though Rafsanjani wanted to improve Iran’s relationship with the West, and improve the state of the nation’s economy, his administration was criticised. This led to him being thrown out of power for a brief period.
Rafsanjani came back to power after his victory in the 1993 elections. However, this time he didn’t win with a thumping majority like the way he won in 1989.
In 2000, Rafsanjani was elected to the parliament, even though his name was not present in the list of 30 candidates announced by the ‘Iranian Ministry of the Interior’. This led to strong allegations that manipulations were made in the selection procedure to accommodate Rafsanjani.
Rafsanjani once again tried his luck to become the president in 2005. Though he was one of the hot favourites, he failed to secure a majority, leading to his defeat. His arch political rival Ahmadinejad was elected the President after the results were announced.
In 2006, Rafsanjani became a member of the ‘Assembly of Experts’ in Iran after winning the elections with a whopping 1.5 million votes. The following year he was appointed the Chairman of the same committee, which gave him the liberty to elect or remove the Supreme leader of the country.
Rafsanjani served a second term as the chairman of the ‘Assembly of Experts’ committee after being elected in 2009. Two years later he was replaced by Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani.
In 2009, Rafsanjani allegedly planned a conspiracy to remove rival Ahmedinejad from power. The former had apparently conducted a meeting with the other members of the ‘Assembly of Experts’, the outcome of which is not known till date. It is alleged that this meeting was a conspiracy planned by Rafsanjani to throw Ahmadinejad out of power.
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Rafsanjani had to step down from his position at the ‘Assembly of Experts’ in 2011. It’s believed that he backed out from contesting the re-election at the last minute. Two years later, he again tried to contest for the presidential elections, but he wasn’t lucky this time around.
One of Rafsanjani’s great contributions to Iran during his tenure as the President, was the introduction of various domestic policies. These policies paved way for free trading, and more interaction with Western countries. Rafsanjani also stressed that universities needed to collaborate with industries to create better job opportunities.
Rafsanjani always wanted to maintain great relations with other nations. He also helped a war-torn Iraq out of its crisis by sending loads of medicine and food for the refugees. However, he failed to impress nations like the United States.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1962, Rafsanjani got married to Effat Marashi. The couple have five children, three sons named Mohsin, Mehdi, and Yasser, and daughters Fatemeh and Faezeh.
His daughter Fatemeh followed her father’s footsteps, and entered politics. She went on to become a representative of the ‘Majlis’, the name for the Iranian parliament.
Rafsanjani was been accused of being linked to terrorists & extremists organisations several times. It’s said that he had an important role to play in the 1994 bomb blast incident which occurred at Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Rafsanjani penned his thoughts in the form of several books such as ‘Amir Kabir: the Hero of Fighting against Imperialism’, ’Memories’, ‘Tafsir Rahnama’ and ‘Explicit Letters’.
Rafsanjani died of a heart attack on 8 January 2017, at the age of 82, in Tehran
Rafsanjani was said to be one of the wealthiest people in Iran. It’s said that he owned many properties in and around his hometown ‘Rafsanjani’.