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Iran’s first president after the 1979 revolution, Abolhassan Banisadr, dies at the age of 88

By The Associated Press

Tehran: Iran’s first president after the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, Abolhassan Banisadr, who fled Tehran after being impeached for challenging the growing power of clerics as the country became a theocracy, died on Saturday.

He was 88 years old.

Amid a sea of ​​black-clad Shia clerics, Banisadr was so French for his Western-style suit and a backdrop that it was in the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre that he acknowledged his belief that he would be Iran’s first president, about 15 years from this. year ago. Happened.

Those differences only alienated him as the nationalist sought to establish a socialist-style economy in Iran, based on his deep Shia faith established by his cleric father.

Banisadr would never tighten his grip on the government he led as events far beyond his control, such as the US embassy hostage crisis and Iraq’s invasion of Iran, only added to the chaos that followed the revolution. Gaya.

True power remained with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, with whom Banisdar worked in exile in France and moved back to Tehran in the midst of the revolution.

But Khomeini threw Banisadr aside after only 16 months in office, sending him back to Paris, where he would remain for decades.

Banisdar later said of Khomeini, “I was like a child watching my father slowly become an alcoholic.”

“The medicine was power this time.”

Banisdar’s family said in a statement on Saturday that he died in a Paris hospital after a prolonged illness.

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