The cleric was known as a backer of former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who questioned the Holocaust and claimed there were no gays or lesbians in Iran.
Iranian Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi, a prominent hard-liner and supporter of the country’s ex-president, died on Friday, the state-run IRNA news agency reported. He was 85.
The cleric was known as a backer of former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who questioned the Holocaust and claimed there were no gays or lesbians in Iran. Ahmadinejad was succeeded in 2013 by Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate.
The report said Yazdi had recently been in hospital for a month due to an unspecified gastrointestinal illness but was then released to continue treatment at home in the Iranian holy city of Qom, which is home to major Shiite seminaries. A few days ago, he took a turn for the worse and was transferred to a hospital in the capital, Tehran, IRNA said.
No further details were provided.
He was also a senior member of the country’s Expert Assembly, created in February 1988 with the main responsibility to resolve differences or conflicts between the country’s parliament and Iran’s constitutional watchdog body, the Guardian Council.
Funeral arrangements were not immediately known. Most Iranian clerics are buried in Qom.