Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani , translit. Akbar Hāshemī Rafsanjānī pronunciation (help·info)) or Hashemi Bahramani (25 August 1934 Rafsanjan, Persia – 8 January 2017 Tehran, Iran) was an influential Iranian politician and writer, who was the fourth president of Iran. He was the head of the Assembly of Experts from 2007 until 2011 when he decided not to nominate himself for the post. He was also the chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran.
During the Iran–Iraq War Rafsanjani was the de facto commander-in-chief of the Iranian military. Rafsanjani was elected chairman of the Iranian parliament in 1980 and served until 1989. Rafsanjani also served as president of Iran from 1989 to 1997. He played an important role in the choice of Ali Khamenei as Supreme Leader. In 2005 he ran for a third term in office, placing first in the first round of elections but ultimately losing to rival Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the run-off round of the 2005 election. He and his familly came under fire from conservatives for their support of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who led protests in 2008.
Rafsanjani has been described as having been a pragmatic conservative. The Economist called him as a “veteran kingmaker.” He supported a free market position domestically, favoring privatization of state-owned industries, and a moderate position internationally, seeking to avoid conflict with the United States and the West.
In 1997 during the Mykonos trial in Germany, it was declared that Rafsanjani (then President of Iran), along with Supreme Leader Khameini, Foreign Minister Velayati, and Intelligence Minister Fallahian, was complicit in assassinations of Iranian dissident opposition activists in Europe. He was considered to be the richest person in Iran.
Rafsanjani passed away following a heart attack on 8 January 2017 in Tehran at the age of 82.