Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has offered his condolences over the demise of Chairman of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
In his message on Sunday, Ayatollah Khamenei expressed grief over the sudden demise of an old friend, comrade and ally during the struggles for the 1979 Islamic Revolution and close colleague during the post-Islamic Revolution period.
The Leader said Rafsanjani’s loss was overwhelming and very hard to bear, adding that their cooperation and friendship had lasted for 59 years.
Ayatollah Khamenei added that he and Rafsanjani had gone through many hardships and difficulties in these years.
The Leader said Rafsanjani's high intellect and unique intimacy in their years of friendship had been a reliable support for all those working with him.
Ayatollah Khamenei further stated that some differences in opinion between the two, which occurred at times during this long period, could never sever the friendship ties between him and Ayatollah Rafsanjani.
The Leader also condoled with Rafsanjani's wife, children, brothers and the rest of his family, wishing God's mercy and forgiveness for the deceased cleric.
Ayatollah Rafsanjani passed away at a hospital in northern Tehran on Sunday at the age of 82 due to a heart condition.
He was among the main aides to the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini.
He played an influential role both during the anti-Shah struggles before the victory of the Islamic Revolution and afterwards through various stages of the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Rafsanjani was also a key figure during the eight years of Iraq’s imposed war on Iran (1980-88), serving as substitute to commander-in-chief of the armed forces.