(BBC) — Iran’s ex-President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a dominant figure in the country’s politics since the 1980s, has died at the age of 82.

Mr Rafsanjani, president from 1989 to 1997, suffered a heart attack.

He played a pivotal role in the 1979 revolution but later in life became a counterpoint to hardline conservatives.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei hailed a “companion of struggle” despite their differences, saying that the loss was “difficult and overwhelming”.

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