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Iran Awaits Rafsanjani’s Will | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People attend the funeral ceremony of Iran’s former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in Tehran, Iran January 10, 2017. Leader.ir/Handout via REUTERS

Former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi laid to rest on January 10 amid national anticipation for the announcement of his will, which according to close sources, will be declared soon.

Rafsanjani died of a heart attack at 82 on January 08, and three days of official mourning began on Monday. He served two terms as Iran’s president from 1989 to 1997 and had been an influential figure in Iranian politics.

At the time of his death, he was the chairman of the Expediency Council, which aims to settle disputes between the country’s parliament and the Guardian Council.

Second Deputy of the Parliament of Iran Ali Motahari renewed his requests for a solution for the case of Green Movement leaders who are under house arrest.

Motahari addressed protests at Rafsanjani’s funeral and tweeted on his official account: “The chants at Rafsanjani’s funeral show that officials must quickly solve the issue of the Green Movement leaders who are under house arrest.”

President Hasan Rouhani also described the huge turnout at Rafsanjani’s funeral as “loyal”. He thanked the attendees saying he is speechless for their kindness.

Public mourning for Rafsanjani continued while Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei hosted a memorial service at his residence for the late president which was attended by high-ranking Iranian officials.

Rafsanjani’s family announced that his will is to be published soon adding that he assigned his older son Mohsen Hashimi as the executor.

During a television interview, Mohsen Rafsanjani recited a single sentence from his dad’s will in response to allegations concerning his wealth. Mohsen stressed that his father’s possessions are the same as they were before the revolution. He confirmed that everything Rafsanjani earned was according to the law.

Meanwhile, Rafsanjani’s brother and head of office Mohammed Hashimi denied media reports claiming that his brother’s body wasn’t in the casket. He accused those media outlets of wanting to create strife in Iran.

On Tuesday, thousands of citizens took to the streets calling for reforms meeting the calls of former reformist president Mohammad Khatami.

Khatami, who had become close to Rafsanjani after he became a reformist, was banned from attending the funeral.

Similar to the incidents of summer 2009 in Iran, citizens chanted slogans against the authorities and in support of reformist leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, who have been under house arrest for their roles in the Green Movement protests after the 2009 presidential election.

Rafsanjani’s funeral also became a platform for mourners to protest against the regime’s policies and its allies in the region.

In a clear message against Iran’s involvement with Moscow in the region, protesters chanted against Russia saying “Death to Russia” and “the Russian Embassy is the den of espionage,” as they passed the embassy’s complex in the heart of Tehran.

ILNA news agency reported that hundreds of mourners asked in their chants for the return of Khatami to the public life and release of Karroubi and Mousavi.

Earlier in December of 2016, Ali Motahari delivered a speech at the event of student’s day at Amirkabir University during which he said: “The house arrest should either come to an end, or a legal authority should decide upon it,” he said.

Motahari stated that the house arrest is against the law and religious teachings. He and other officials had spoken to Khamenei on several occasions, but the Supreme Leader refused to hold a court session for Karroubi.

Rafsanjani once declared that he was close to convincing Khamenei of a settlement that would end Karroubi and Mousavi’s house arrest, hadn’t it been for certain parties interference.

Official authorities say that the house arrest decision was done according to the Iranian Supreme National Security Council.

In April, Karroubi sent Rouhani a message asking for a public trial, but Rouhani never responded, despite the fact that ending Karroubi and Mousavi’s house arrest was one of Rouhani’s presidential campaign promises.

Karroubi said in his letter that he would accept the sentence that comes from his trial without appealing it. Back then, Motahari considered Karroubi’s requests to be reasonable.