The death - as a result of a stroke - has been reported of the former President of Iran, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. A subtle and sophisticated political leader, seen as a "pragmatic conservative", and a natural practitioner of the arts and artifices of politics and power, Mr Rafsanjani was regarded as a moderate within the administrative, political and power structures of post revolutionary Iran. He served as President of Iran between 1989 and 1997 (and was succeeded by President Khatami, a moderate) but was subsequently defeated by Mr Ahmadinejad when he sought to run again in 2005. More recently, he has been viewed as a warm supporter of the current relatively reformist President of Iran, Mr Rouhani. Personally, I regret the passing of any leader who has been known to hold moderate views, that is, moderate views of the kind that might infer that the world is a somewhat more complicated place than some sages, prophets and indeed economists and pollsters might suggest, and that, as consequence, those who are of the opinion that alternative paths to salvation might possibly exist need not necessarily be slaughtered for so speculating. RIP Mr Rafsanjani.