Tens of thousands attend funeral of Iranian ex-president Rafsanjani

Mourners gathering around the coffin of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjai during a mourning ceremony at the Jamaran mosque in Teheran, Iran, on Jan 9, 2017.
Mourners gathering around the coffin of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjai during a mourning ceremony at the Jamaran mosque in Teheran, Iran, on Jan 9, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

TEHERAN (AFP) - Tens of thousands of Iranians were at Teheran University on Tuesday morning (Jan 10) to attend the funeral service for former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani led by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

State television showed people pouring onto the streets around the university, paying tribute to Mr Rafsanjani despite their "differences".

The heavyweight politician, who died on Sunday at the age of 82, will be buried inside the crypt of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic revolution. Khomeini's mausoleum is in southern Teheran.

The highest ranking politicians from all factions will attend the special Islamic service.

Black banners were raised in Teheran and some posters showed the supreme leader and Mr Rafsanjani together smiling. Another poster said "good bye, old combatant".

Traffic restrictions were in place and buses and metro trains were free on the routes leading to the university of Teheran on Tuesday.