Iran in shock following ex-president’s death
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 9
By Farhad Daneshvar – Trend:
Despite mixed reactions to news regarding death of the Islamic Republic’s former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, many social media users and mainstream media outlets seem to be in for a tremendous shock.
Rafsanjani’s unexpected death soon became a trending topic on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms, as many users were expressing mixed reactions including sadness, concerns over the country’s political situation, and happiness as well.
The chairman of Expediency Council of the country, Hashemi Rafsanjani, considered by some as the second man in Iran, passed away, following a hospitalization due to heart complications on Jan. 8.
Considered a dominant figure in the Islamic Republic’s politics, Rafsanjani passed away at age 82, and his passing was immediately followed by online discussions on the former president political career’s ups and downs over the past three decades.
Those who are concerned about the country’s political future, suggest that Rafsanjani’s absence would trigger an imbalance of power in the country, weakening the position of reformists and moderates.
Many users have noted the fact that the top cleric’s death was a blow to moderate President Hassan Rouhani’s position, who is expected to run for president yet again in May.
In the meantime, a number of users have hailed Rafsanjani for his role in reforming the country’s economy, drained by the consequences of the eight-year war with Iraq during the 1980s.
These groups of people say that Hashemi Rafsanjani took steps towards liberalizing Iran’s economy and improving the country’s damaged ties with the rest of the world.
However, another group of netizens, believe that Rafsanjani was a central figure of the Islamic Republic involved in “human rights-related crimes”. Meanwhile, the opponents of the ruling elite of the Islamic Republic, along with a group of non-Iranians, have considered his death as a loss for the country’s political system, expressing joy over the news.
Mainstream media, state run TV, newspapers and news websites, including Rafsanjani’s outspoken critics paid tributes to him, despite their harsh stances against Rafsanjani’s political and economic views over the past several years.
The late figure took office as the president of Iran from 1989 to 1997 advocating progressive economic policies, encouraging private businesses and improving infrastructure.