hojjat-ol eslam Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and family pose for photo (year ?)
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (born February 15, 1934) is an influential Iranian politician, writer and former president. Currently he holds the position of Chairman of the Assembly of Experts (a deliberative body of Mujtahids that is charged with electing, monitoring, and dismissing the Supreme Leader of Iran) and Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran (an unelected administrative assembly that resolves legislative conflicts between the Majlis and the Council of Guardians).
Rafsanjani served as President of Iran from 1989 to 1997. In 2005 he ran for a third term in office, winning the first round of elections but ultimately losing to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the run-off round of the 2005 election.
Rafsanjani is reportedly associated with the Iranian kleptocratic business class and is hostile to Ahmadinejad and the more socialistic ideological tendency in the Islamic Republic. He has been described as a pragmatic and conservative, who supports a right-wing position domestically and a moderate position internationally, seeking to avoid conflict with the United States.
Rafsanjani was born in the village of Bahraman near the city of Rafsanjan in Kerman Province to a poor family of pistachio farmers. He has eight other siblings.. Rafsanjani has also been involved in the Iran-Contra affair and reportedly received gifts and weapons from the United States in exchange for favors from within the Iranian establishment.Rafsanjani has also been implicated in a number of international cases and there is an Interpol warrant issued for his arrest by Argentinian government.There are as well other reports connecting him with bombings and hostage taking.
From his marriage to Effat Mar’ashi in 1958, Rafsanjani has three sons: Mohsen, Mehdi, and Yasser, as well as two daughters, Fatemeh and Faezeh. Only Faezeh Hashemi chose a political life, which led to her becoming a Majlis representative and then the publisher of the newspaper Zan (woman).
Many believe Rafsanjani to be the richest man in Iran due to his deep involvement in various Iranian industries, including the oil industry, as well as his ownership of many properties throughout the country. There have also been allegations that some of his wealth has come from arms deals made after the Revolution. His wealth has earned him the nickname of Akbar Shah in Iran. The Rafsanjani family own vast financial empires in Iran, including foreign trade, vast landholdings and the largest network of private universities in Iran, known as the Islamic Azad University, which has 300 campuses spread all over the country. The Islamic Azad University campuses not only have large financial resources, but also a cadre of student activists numbering around 3 million.
The American business magazine Forbes has included Rafsanjani in their list of richest people in the world. In 2003 Forbes described Rafsanjani as the real power behind the Iranian government, and asserted that he “has more or less run the Islamic Republic for the past 24 years.” His son Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani is the head of the state-owned company Gaz Iran.
Rafsanjani has authored several books, including a book on Amir Kabir titled Amir Kabir; the Hero of Fighting against Imperialism. He is also gradually publishing his multi-volume memoir titled Towards Destiny. The seventh volume of his memoirs, in which he writes that Ayatollah Khomeini had approved the proposal to omit the rallying cry “Death to America,” was banned and collected from bookstores a few days after its publication