Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
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(August 25, 1934-January 8, 2017)
Born in Rafsanjan, Iran
Founding member of the Islamic Republic Party (1979)
Speaker of the Iranian Parliament (1980-89)
President of Iran (1989-97)
Head of the Assembly of Experts (2007-11)
Why he might be annoying
He allegedly provided the gun used to assassinate Prime Minister Hassan Ali Mansur (1965).
He was one of the key middlemen in the Iran-Contra Affair.
He refused to lift Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa calling for the death of author Salman Rushdie.
He encouraged Palestinians to kill Westerners in response to Israeli military actions in the West Bank and Gaza: ‘It is not hard to kill Americans or Frenchmen.’ (1989)
He made secret deals with Pakistan to get equipment for Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
He was accused of ordering the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aries that killed 85 people (1994).
He praised the government’s use of force to suppress student demonstrators (1999).
One of his predecessors as president said, ‘He’s not brilliant as an organizer and he doesn’t have too many original ideas, but he’s an intelligent manipulator.’
Why he might not be annoying
He was married to Effat Marashi for 58 years.
He was shot in the stomach during an assassination attempt (1979).
Ronald Regan thanked him for intervening with Hezbollah to bring about a peaceful end to the hijacking of a TWA jet (1985).
He was called ‘Commander of Reconstruction’ for the improvements made to the road, electrical, telephone and water networks during his presidency.
He spoke out against restrictions on the media and the suppression of Green Movement protestors (July 17, 2009).
Credit: C. Fishel
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