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Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani : biography

25 August 1934 -

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani ( , Hashemi Bahramani , born 25 August 1934) is an influential Iranian politician and writer, who was the fourth president of Iran. He was a member of the Assembly of Experts until his resignation in 2011. Indian Express, 6 September 2007 Currently, he is 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.

Rafsanjani has been described as a centrist and a pragmatic conservative. He supports 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.RK Ramazani 'Revolutionary Iran: Challenge and Response in the Middle East,' The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987.

In 1997 during the Mykonos trial in Germany, it was declared that Hashemi Rafsanjani (the then president of Iran) alongside of Ayatollah Ali Khameni (supreme leader), Ali-Akbar Velayati (the then foregin minister) and Ali Fallahian (Inteligence Minister) has had role in assassination of Iran's opposition activists in Europe. Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, 2009 He is considered to be the richest person in Iran.BBC News , 19 June 2009

On 11 May 2013, Rafsanjani entered the race for the June 2013 presidential election, but on 21 May he was disqualified by the Guardian Council.

Presidency

Rafsanjani adopted an "economy-first" policy, supporting a privatization policy against leftist economic tendencies in the Islamic Republic.Pasri, Trita, Treacherous Alliance : the secret dealings of Israel, Iran and the United States, Yale University Press, 2007, p.132 Another source describes his administration as "economically liberal, politically authoritarian, and philosophically traditional" which put him in confrontation with more radical deputies in the majority in the Majles of Iran.Brumberg, Daniel, Reinventing Khomeini : The Struggle for Reform in Iran, University of Chicago Press, 2001, p.153

As president, Rafsanjani was credited with spurring Iran's reconstruction following the 1980-88 war with Iraq. Rafsanjani is known to be popular with the upper and middle classes, partially due to his economic reforms during his tenure and support for human rights (in comparison to the Khomeini years), which have been widely perceived as successful for the most part. However, his reconstruction efforts failed to reach the rural or war zones where they needed them the most, leaving him unpopular with the majority of the rural, veteran, and working class population. His reforms, despite attempting to curb the powers of the ultra-conservatives, failed to do so and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards would get increasing powers from Khamenei during his presidency. He was also accused of corruption by both conservatives and reformists,"It is a quirk of history that Mr. Rafsanjani, the ultimate insider, finds himself aligned with a reform movement that once vilified him as deeply corrupt." and known for tough crackdowns on dissent.

Domestic policy

Rafsanjani advocated a free market economy. With the state's coffers full, Rafsanjani pursued an economic liberalisation policy. Rafsanjani's support for a deal with the United States over Iran's nuclear program and his free-market economic policies contrasted with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his allies, who advocate maintaining a hard line against Western intervention in the Middle East while pursuing a policy of economic redistribution to Iran's poor. By espousing World Bank inspired structural adjustment policies, Rafsanjani desired a modern industrial-based economy integrated into the global economy.Book: Factional politics in post-Khomeini Iran By Mehdi Moslem

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine