RELIGION

Iranians gather for funeral of former leader Rafsanjani

  • A man weeps during a mourning ceremony for former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died on Sunday after suffering a heart attack, at the Jamaran mosque in north Tehran, Iran, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. Mourners from all walks of life in Iran — from the country's president to passers-by on the street — paid their respects Monday to the late Iranian leader Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

    A man weeps during a mourning ceremony for former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died on Sunday after suffering a heart attack, at the Jamaran mosque in north Tehran, Iran, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. Mourners from all walks of life in Iran — from the country's president to passers-by on the street — paid their respects Monday to the late Iranian leader Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Front pages of the Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, edition of Iranian newspapers, published with pictures of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died on Sunday after suffering a heart attack. Newspapers in Iran published front-page photographs of Rafsanjani, while state television aired archival clips of his comments and speeches. Mourners from all walks of life in Iran - from the country's president to passers-by on the street - paid their respects to him. The country is observing three days of mourning. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

    Front pages of the Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, edition of Iranian newspapers, published with pictures of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died on Sunday after suffering a heart attack. Newspapers in Iran published front-page photographs of Rafsanjani, while state television aired archival clips of his comments and speeches. Mourners from all walks of life in Iran - from the country's president to passers-by on the street - paid their respects to him. The country is observing three days of mourning. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Faezeh Hashemi, daughter of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died Sunday after suffering a heart attack, flashes a victory sign to the crowd from a bus during the funeral ceremony for her father in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Hundreds of thousands of mourners flooded the streets of Tehran on Tuesday, beating their chests and wailing in grief for Rafsanjani, who died over the weekend at the age of 82. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

    Faezeh Hashemi, daughter of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died Sunday after suffering a heart attack, flashes a victory sign to the crowd from a bus during the funeral ceremony for her father in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Hundreds of thousands of mourners flooded the streets of Tehran on Tuesday, beating their chests and wailing in grief for Rafsanjani, who died over the weekend at the age of 82. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)  (The Associated Press)

Iran is holding an hours-long funeral ceremony for the late Iranian president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, following his death over the weekend at the age of 82.

Thousands of Tehran residents and government officials have gathered on the Tehran University campus, where Rafsanjani's casket is on display. Authorities have declared Tuesday a public holiday so Iranians can commemorate Rafsanjani.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is later to hold prayers by Rafsanjani's casket.

Rafsanjani will be buried in mausoleum of the late leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Rafsanjani, a close aide to both Khomeini and Khamenei, served as president from 1989 to 1997. He was a major supporter of moderate President Hassan Rouhani and served as a go-between for reformers seeking outreach to the world and hard-liners.