Abolhassan Banisadr, Iran’s first president after the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution who fled Tehran after being impeached for challenging the growing power of clerics as the nation became a theocracy, died. He was 88. He was elected president in 1980, Banisadr was impeached 16 months after taking office for challenging the growing power of clerics.
Banisadr then served as Iran’s minister of economics and foreign affairs and, with the help of the Islamic clergy, became president. He faced huge difficulties from the start, including the US embassy hostage crisis and the Iran-Iraq war but, above all, the opposition of fundamentalist clerics.