Abolhassan, Iran’s former president and fled into exile after 1979 Islamic Revolution, has passed away at the age.

Banisadr, who was elected president in 1980 for his challenge to the increasing power of clerics, was impeached sixteen months later.

He fled to France where he briefly joined a group that tried to topple the clergy authorities.

After a lengthy illness, his family says he passed away in a Paris hospital.

Banisadr, a dissident against Iran’s Shah monarch in the 1960s was imprisoned. After being released from Iran, Banisadr fled to France where he was reunited with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s entourage. He became one of Khomeini’s close friends as well as advisers. They returned to Tehran during the revolution together.

Banisadr served then as Iran’s Minister of Economics and Foreign Affairs. With the assistance of the Islamic clergy, he became president. The hostage crisis in the US and the Iran–Iraq conflict were just a few of the many problems he encountered from his beginning. But, most important, was the opposition by fundamentalist clerics.

Banisadr wanted clerics to be in the political systems. His power struggle ended up with him being impeached by parliament. Khomeini approved the move.

He escaped on an Iranian Air Force Boeing 707 seven months later and received political asylum in France. In 1984, he was the co-founder of National Council of Resistance of Iran. He left it three more years later.

He told Reuters that Khomeini had been killed in 1989 and had betrayed revolution principles.

According to him, he was certain that the Islamic Revolution would restore democracy and human rights in the country following the Shah’s rule.

  • IN PICTURES : Iranian women, before and during the revolution
  • FROM THE ARCHIVE – The flight journey that launched Iran’s revolution

He was quoted by the Associated Press as saying about the ayatollah, “I felt like a little child watching my dad slowly become an alcoholic…” This time, the drug was power.

Banisadr’s family declared his death. The cause of his death was not disclosed by them.

Source: BBC.com

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