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'Miss Marple Needed' To Solve Mystery Of Rafsanjani's Death

Tens of thousands of Iranians gather around a hearse carrying the coffin of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani during his funeral ceremony in the capital Tehran, January 10, 2017

Commemorating the memory of her influential father, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former Tehran MP Faezeh Hashemi says, "Two years after my father's passing, there are a lot of ambiguities concerning the cause of his death."

"If Miss Marple were living in Iran, she could have found a clue about the cause of my father's death," she added.

The body of the 82-year-old former president was discovered by a bodyguard on January 8, 2017, in a swimming pool in Koushk Garden, northern Tehran, as was officially announced at the time.

Rafsanjani used the pool once or twice a week. According to initial reports, he was swimming alone that evening as the guards remained outside. The lights of the pool were said to be mysteriously turned off. One of the guards discovered the body after Rafsanjani failed to come out at the usual time.

His relatives maintain that he did not die of natural causes.

In a videotaped interview published on January 10, Hashemi said, "There is no will or ambition for seeking the truth, and the Islamic Republic's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC, headed by so-called moderate President Hassan Rouhani) have stopped the investigation and shelved my father's case."

At a protest rally against financial corruption on August 16 at Iran’s major Shi’ite seminary in the city of Qom, a banner read, "Oh, you who promote negotiations (with the United States), the Farah pool is waiting for you!"
The message was an implicit threat to Rouhani with a death similar to his mentor Rafsanjani's, highlighted the rumors saying that the chairman of the influential Expediency Discernment Council had been murdered.

"These threats are clues to the truth. If we had a private detective, or Miss Marple were here, we could find out the truth about my father's death. Nonetheless, the ambiguities of his death are still with us."

Miss Marple is a fictional detective created by the British author Agatha Christie. TV series based on Miss Marple's adventures are popular in Iran today.

Previously, Hashemi had lamented that her father had died of “unnatural causes" and yet the SNSC shelved the case.

Slogans used in a gathering of seminarians against Rouhani in the city of Qom, on August 16, 2018.
Slogans used in a gathering of seminarians against Rouhani in the city of Qom, on August 16, 2018.

"Two months before my father's death, two gentlemen who claimed to be (Iran-Iraq) war veterans came to my office and told me that unidentified individuals intend to assassinate my father, asking me to relay their message to him," she told the Jamaran website, without elaborating on the identity of the two individuals.

Hashemi has also repeatedly asked why her father's body was taken to the hospital with a 21-minute delay.

Dismissing the remarks attributed to her father's bodyguards as "contradictory” and "suspicious," she asked, "Why was there no death certificate at the time of my father's burial? Why were samples not taken from his body to determine the exact cause of death?"

If they had asked the family’s permission for an autopsy, she added, they might have declined, but they would have allowed samples to be taken.

Rafsanjani's younger brother, Mohammad Hashemi, has also said that although the cause of his brother's death is officially listed as cardiac arrest, the cause of cardiac arrest was never announced.

Rafsanjani, once considered the second most powerful man in Iran for more than three decades, clashed with his longtime friend and ally current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei over the disputed re-election of hard-line President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in 2009, emerging as a figure who could rein in Khamenei's autocratic rule.

In 2013, the clash between the two comrades reached a point that Rafsanjani was disqualified from standing in presidential elections and swung his political weight behind a so-called moderate and longtime associate, mid-ranking cleric Hassan Rouhani, who won the vote against the candidates believed to be Khamenei's favorites.

Khamenei never hid his discontent with the Rafsanjani-Rouhani axis promoting a less bellicose stance toward the West.