Some Gulf Arabs commiserate over Iran's Rafsanjani, Saudi silent

By REUTERS
January 9, 2017 13:25

 
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DUBAI - Four Gulf states sent condolences on Monday for former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, signalling appreciation for a pragmatist who sought regional detente, but there was no immediate word from Riyadh, Tehran's main Gulf Arab adversary.

The heads of state of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) expressed condolences after the death on Sunday of Rafsanjani, 82, a founder of the Islamic Republic and a powerful pragmatic influence in Iran's factionalised politics.

Rafsanjani's funeral will be held in Tehran on Tuesday. Iran has announced three days of mourning, including a public holiday on Tuesday, for Rafsanjani, who was president from 1989 to 1997 and a key figure in the 1979 revolution that overthrew the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

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