Hundreds of thousands of Iranians mass in central Tehran for the funeral of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION Hundreds of thousands of Iranians massed in central Tehran on Tuesday (January 10) for the funeral of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a show of unity to honour the Islamic Republic's polarising pragmatist. Rafsanjani, who died on Sunday (January 8) aged 82, was buried next to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led the country's Islamic revolution in 1979 and founded the country's system of theocratic rule. Rafsanjani's pragmatic policies of economic liberalization and better relations with the West attracted fierce supporters and equally fierce critics during his life, but his funeral brought both sides together. The final prayer over his body was in the University of Tehran courtyard where the late president delivered many of his speeches during Friday prayers. Rafsanjani's body, sealed in a metal coffin with his white turban on top, was then brought in procession down Revolution Street in central Tehran, where hundreds of thousands of people came out in cold winter weather to pay tribute.