22:05, 19 January 2017
watch on Dushanbe time, GMT+5
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Thousands gather for Rafsanjani's funeral in Tehran

Tens of thousands of mourners led by Iran's supreme leader have gathered

at Tehran University for the funeral of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. State television showed people pouring on to the streets around the campus where Ayatollah Ali Khamenei led the ceremony for Rafsanjani on Tuesday. Khamenei stood next to President Hassan Rouhani and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani as they prayed in front of Rafsanjani's closed casket. Images posted on social media also showed Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani attending the funeral procession. Rafsanjani, who died of a heart attack on Sunday at the age of 82, will be buried inside the crypt of Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, according to Al Jazeera's Dorsa Jabari, who is reporting from the Iranian capital. "It's a very somber occasion in the Islamic Republic," Jabari said. "This was something very unexpected. Many ordinary people, who weren't necessarily even a fan of Rafsanjani, or his family, expressed their views that they were just shocked and extremely saddened by the loss." Khomeini's mausoleum is in south Tehran near the capital's largest airport. Leaders of all of Iran's competing political factions also attended the funeral. Black banners were raised in Tehran and some posters showed the supreme leader and Rafsanjani together smiling. Another poster said "good bye, old combatant".