Iran’s former foreign minister passes away

TEHRAN: Ebrahim Yazdi, Iran’s first foreign minister after the 1979 Islamic revolution, who later went on to become an opposition figure, has died aged 86, Iranian media reported on Monday.

He died late on Sunday in Izmir, Turkey, where he underwent surgery after the US refused his request for a medical visa.

Yazdi was an old companion of Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic republic, and became foreign minister in the provisional government of Mehdi Bazargan after the revolution.

He resigned in November 1979 in protest at a group of students taking American diplomats hostage in Tehran.

The hostage crisis, which lasted 444 days, led to the severing of diplomatic ties with Washington.

Since 1995, he had headed the Freedom Movement of Iran, a small liberal party that is banned and has little influence in Iranian politics.

Yazdi was arrested several times after the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.

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