Mon Jan 9, 2017 2:53PM
This file photo taken on March 08, 2011 shows former Iranian president and head of Iran's Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, delivering a speech during a meeting of the top clerical body in Tehran. (Photo by AFP)
This file photo taken on March 08, 2011 shows former Iranian president and head of Iran's Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, delivering a speech during a meeting of the top clerical body in Tehran. (Photo by AFP)

Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani passed away on Sunday at the age of 82 due to heart failure. Many Iranian and world figures have expressed condolences over the death of the iconic cleric. Press TV has spoken to Abbas Aslani, a journalist and commentator, to discuss Rafsanjani’s legacy.

Aslani believes that Ayatollah Rafsanjani has not only been very active in domestic political arena but he has also played an “effective role” in social and economic issues as well as foreign policy.

“At different points he played very important role in executive branch and also in the legislative branch. He also played important role in improving at some time in the past Iran’s economy and also in improving Iran’s relation with some regional countries in the region and in the continuation, as a chair of the Assembly of Experts or the Expediency Council, he was consulted and he also helped the Leader and other officials in running the country and making important decisions,” he said.

He also noted Rafsanjani was a “symbol of unity” for the Iranian people, adding that he will be remembered as one of the important and key figures of the Islamic Revolution in the future.  

Aslani further stated Rafsanjani played a very important role during the eight years of the Iraq-imposed war from 198 to 1988, while serving as the acting commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces.

According to the commentator, Rafsanjani was a figure who played a “visible” role in the Islamic Revolution before becoming president and  was one of those who kept his “high-profile” role even after his presidency.