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Analysis: A blow to Iran reformers as Trump presidency looms

Discussion in 'Israel & Middle East News' started by Chris, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Chris

    Chris Administrator Staff Member

    Analysis: A blow to Iran reformers as Trump presidency looms
    By REUTERS
    11 January 2017 12:36
    Rafsanjani, a pragmatist who favored liberal political and economic policies, died of a heart attack aged 82.
    (Final goodbyes for Iran's former president Rafsanjani)

    ANKARA - The death of former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani deprives Iran's reformers of a powerful ally, boosting anti-Western hardliners before a presidential election which will determine how open Tehran is to the world. The loss of Rafsanjani's skills as a factional power-broker also means rivalries in Iran's unwieldy dual system of clerical and republican rule could grow unchecked, testing the stability of the system.

    His death on Sunday heightens concerns for reformers at a time when morale is rising among hardliners because of Donald Trump's election as US president. They believe Trump will adopt tough policies hostile to Iran and that this will undermine reformers' attempts to build bridges with Washington.

    "Rafsanjani was a key equilibrating power in Iran's complex political system," said a senior Iranian official who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter. "His absence as a counterweight against hardliners could harm the moderates and the establishment altogether," the official said by telephone.

    Rafsanjani, a pragmatist who favored liberal political and economic policies, died of a heart attack aged 82. He was buried on Tuesday. Rafsanjani was a companion of the Islamic Republic's late founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and one of the pillars of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Following Khomeini's death, he played a role in the selection of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as supreme leader, Iran's most powerful figure.

    more.............http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/An...an-reformers-as-Trump-presidency-looms-478107
     

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