Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, an influential power broker in the Islamic Republic who advised the country’s supreme leader, died Sunday after he was hospitalized for a heart condition, according to Iranian state media. He was 82.
The official IRNA news agency reported earlier in the day that Rafsanjani had been taken to a public hospital north of the capital, Tehran. The semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Mohammad Hashemi, his brother, as saying that Rafsanjani was in good condition.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reportedly visited Rafsanjani in the hospital and a short time later the former president was dead.
Rafsanjani, who served as president from 1989 to 1997, was a leading politician who has often played kingmaker in the country’s turbulent politics. He supported Rouhani.
Rafsanjani was the current head of the Expediency Council, a body that advises Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and in March he won a seat on a clerical body that will one day decide Khamenei’s successor.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.