First President of Iran, Abolhassan Banisadr, Dies in Paris at 88
08:28 GMT 09.10.2021 (Updated: 09:46 GMT 09.10.2021)
Prior to his presidency, Banisadr served as minister of foreign affairs in the interim government, which was formed after the monarchy was abolished in Iran. However, his leadership was short-lived. In 1981, less than a year after he was appointed president, he was impeached, reportedly for his liberal policies and opposition to Islamic clerics.
Abolhassan Banisadr, Iran's
first president after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, has died at the age of 88, local media has reported. According to a statement released by his family, he died in a hospital in Paris after suffering from a long illness.
Once an ally of Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, Banisadr quickly fell out of favour after he was appointed the country's president in February of 1980. In his last interview, the politician claimed that his refusal to comply with Ayatollah Khomeini's order to condemn eight political parties in Iran and "endorse" a "secret deal with the Americans" during the Iran-Iraq War led to his impeachment and subsequent exile in France.
The politician regarded his impeachment as a coup d'etat against democracy and harshly criticised the ayatollah while in exile.
"I was like a child watching my father slowly turn into an alcoholic. The drug this time was power", he said.
In the English translation of his book "My Turn to Speak", in which he describes the events that occurred before and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Banisadr claimed that Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign struck a secret deal with Tehran to prolong the Iran hostage crisis
and blamed the political violence across much of the Islamic world on Ayatollah Khomeini.
"Although Khomeini is now long gone, his legacy and methods of control remain. The disastrous political turmoil which has perpetually afflicted Iran and led the country from one crisis to another -- of which the nuclear weapons showdown with the West is only the latest episode -- has been created by despotic forces which have always had little social support", he wrote in an op-ed in The Huffington Post.