Former Iranian president Abolhassan Bani-Sadr dies at 88

“Bani-Sadr was active in the early 1960s in the emergence of the Second National Front and played a leading role in its student section,”...

“Bani-Sadr was active in the early 1960s in the emergence of the Second National Front and played a leading role in its student section,” said the Iranian-American historian. Fakhreddin Azimi said in interview for this obituary. “After the revolution, as president under the most adverse circumstances, he endeavored to rely on Khomeini’s support and goodwill, as well as his own popularity, to ward off or slow the rise of the clerical supremacy.

“His efforts, given the disarray of largely secular forces that are genuinely or potentially favorable to him and the clerics’ ability to win over Khomeini, were doomed to failure. With the loss of Khomeini’s support, his fate was sealed, ”he said.

Mr. Bani-Sadr was born on March 22, 1933 to a family of pious landowners in Hamadan, Iran, considered one of the oldest cities in the world. After studying law, theology and sociology at the University of Tehran, he moved to Paris where he spent several years in the 1960s studying at the Sorbonne. He got caught up in the student movement and led protests against the regime of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

Information on Mr. Bani-Sadr’s survivors was not immediately available.

In the 1970s, Mr. Bani-Sadr met Ayatollah Khomeini, a friend of his late father, who had also been a cleric. They were reunited in Paris after Ayatollah Khomeini’s exile in 1978.

In one of the most spectacular political collapses of the 20th century, the shah fled Iran on January 16, 1979. Ayatollah Khomeini, who had led the revolution from exile, returned home two weeks later. In the expanded government that the Ayatollah installed, Mr. Bani-Sadr was Deputy Minister of Finance, then Minister of Finance and finally Minister of Foreign Affairs. With the blessing of the Ayatollah, Mr. Bani-Sadr easily won the presidential election of January 25, 1980. The Ayatollah, however, had obtained the approval of a constitution giving him the power to remove presidents at will. . Over the next 18 months, he led the rise and fall of Mr. Bani-Sadr.

During his first weeks in office, Mr. Bani-Sadr worked to restore order to the chaos left by the fall of the Shah’s government. However, he was quickly distracted by the hostage crisis.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Former Iranian president Abolhassan Bani-Sadr dies at 88
Former Iranian president Abolhassan Bani-Sadr dies at 88
Newsrust - US Top News
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