Former Iranian President Bani-Sadr Dies In Paris
PARIS (Reuters) – Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, who became Iran’s first president after the 1979 Islamic revolution before going into exile in France, died on Saturday at the age of 88.
He died at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris following a long illness, his wife and children said on the official Bani-Sadr website.
Bani-Sadr had emerged from obscurity to become Iran’s first president in January 1980 with the help of the Islamic clergy.
But after a power struggle with radical clerics, he fled the following year to France, where he spent the rest of his life.
Announcing the death, his family said on their website that Bani-Sadr had “stood up for freedom in the face of new tyranny and oppression in the name of religion.”
His family would like him to be buried in Versailles, the Paris suburb where he lived during his exile, his longtime aide, Paknejad Jamaledin, told Reuters by phone.
In a 2019 Reuters interview, the former president said Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini betrayed the principles of the revolution after coming to power in 1979, adding that it left a “very bitter” taste in some of those. who had returned with him to Tehran in triumph.
Bani-Sadr then recalled how 40 years earlier in Paris, he had been convinced that the Islamic revolution of the religious leader would pave the way for democracy and human rights after the reign of the Shah.
“We were sure that a religious leader was getting involved and that all of these principles would happen for the first time in our history,” he said in the interview.
(Reporting by Michaela Cabrera and the Dubai Newsroom; writing by Gus Trompiz; editing by Frances Kerry)