The first president of the Islamic Republic of Iran died in Paris

Abolhassan Banisadr will have spent much of his life in exile. The first president of the Islamic Republic of Iran died on Saturday in Paris at the age of 88. He had taken refuge in France after his dismissal in 1981.

“Following a long illness, Abolhassan Banisadr died on Saturday in the hospital” of Pitié-Salpêtrière, the official Iranian agency Irna said, citing a source close to the former head of state. Banisadr was close to the founder of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, before falling from grace and being forced into exile.

“An enemy” according to the ultraconservatives

His family in France reacted in a statement: “We would like to inform the honorable people of Iran and all activists for independence and freedom that the president-elect of the Iranian people after the 1979 revolution, who also defended the freedoms, Abolhassan Banisadr, died (…) after a long fight against the disease ”. “Banisadr apparently believed to be the most educated and astute figure in Iran’s power game at the time, but events have shown that these claims have little to do with reality,” claimed on social media, Ahmad Zeidabadi, a journalist writing for the reformist press.

For their part, the ultraconservatives are unleashed without surprise against him, presenting him as “an enemy”. “For the past 40 years, Banisadr has been active against the Iranian nation,” says Fars agency. The daily Javan goes in the same direction. “The first Iranian president who fled the country after being ousted from the command of the Armed Forces and from the presidency (…) was collaborating with the opponents in France against the Iranian people in recent years”. The Judicial Authority also shoots its arrows. “During all these years, in the shadow of the French and Western intelligence services, Banisadr has missed no opportunity to strike the people and the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” she writes on her site.

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Unknown to young people

In addition, for many young people born after the revolution, Banisadr is unknown. “He was president for a very short period, he then left for France and his activity had no echo here”, assures a 40-year-old employee, who does not want to be identified. “He left the country a year after the revolution, what do we know about him? His function could have been important after the revolution if he had not left Iran, ”also believes Ali, a 40-year-old trader.

A political refugee in France, this former intimate of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, was elected president in January 1980 before being dismissed 17 months later. Benefiting from constant police protection, Banisadr had lived in Versailles since May 1984, after having resided in Auvers-sur-Oise and Cachan, two other towns near Paris.

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