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Mourning begins for powerful Iran cleric Shahroudi

Shahroudi died at the age of 70 [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 26 December, 2018

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Iranians have gathered to mourn the death of Iran's Expediency Council Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi.

Mourning processions for the chairman of Iran's Expediency Council Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi began on Wednesday morning, a day after his death was announced.

The mourning began at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Grand Prayer Grounds, where Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei performed the funeral prayer.

The three prominent Iranian political figures attended, including President Hassan Rouhani, parliament speaker Ali Larijani and judiciary chief Sadeq Amoli Larijani, along with other lawmakers and officials.

Shahroudi was a student of Iran's revolutionary founder Ruhollah Khomeini who went on to hold some of the most powerful positions in the Islamic republic.

He headed Iran's judiciary during fierce crackdowns on dissidents, journalists and activists when he headed Iran’s judiciary.

Iranian media on Tuesday announced that he had died on Monday following months of illness.

At the time of his death he was head of the Expediency Council and a member of the 12-man Guardian Council - two key institutions in shaping legislation and vetting election candidates.

He was also deputy head of the Assembly of Experts which has the power to choose the successor to supreme leader Khamenei - a position to which Shahroudi himself was occasionally linked.

Shahroudi had not been seen in public for several months, and there were reports last year that he underwent surgery for an unspecified cancer in Germany.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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