[by:www.tingvoa.com - VOA英语网]
[00:00.10]Iranians are remembering former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
[00:08.46]He died on Sunday after suffering a heart attack.
[00:14.21]He was 82 years old.
[00:16.93]State television suspended programming to announce the death.
[00:24.04]It said Rafsanjani spent his life working in support of “Islam and revolution.”
[00:33.60]Rafsanjani served as Iran's president from 1989 to 1997.
[00:44.32]He also advised Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
[00:56.31]Presidency and political career
[00:57.65]During Rafsanjani's presidency, Iran worked to rebuild its economy.
[01:04.55]It was in ruins following an eight-year war with Iraq.
[01:11.23]Rafsanjani's presidency led to a series of cautious reforms.
[01:18.69]The changes increased some freedoms, especially in Iran's media.
[01:26.77]Over time, however, Rafsanjani's political influence fell sharply.
[01:35.34]After his presidency, Rafsanjani lost a bid for a seat in parliament.
[01:43.60]In 2005, he sought a second term as president.
[01:49.55]But he lost to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a conservative.
[01:56.72]And in 2013, he attempted – but was denied – another term as president.
[02:05.92]At that time, Iran's powerful Guardian Council barred him from the ballot.
[02:14.70]Rafsanjani's influence suffered, in part,
[02:19.28]because conservatives criticized his reform efforts,
[02:25.15]especially his outreach to the West.
[02:29.31]A speech Rafsanjani made in 2009 further alienated him
[02:38.71]from conservatives and Iran's military.
[02:42.71]In the speech, Rafsanjani called for greater personal freedoms.
[02:50.61]At the time, the government was taking steps to punish Iranians protesting
[02:59.20] the results of presidential elections.
[03:02.20]In 2013, Rafsanjani's political protégé, Hassan Rouhani, won the presidency.
[03:13.01]Rouhani asked Rafsanjani to oversee planning for direct nuclear
[03:21.78]talks with the United States.
[03:23.79]On Monday, the president praised Rafsanjani.
[03:29.79]He said the former leader had more wishes for the country,
[03:35.97]and that up until his death he showed people the right path.
[03:41.96]"We are all hopeful to continue his path," Rouhani said.
[03:48.01]I'm Ashley Thompson.