Celebrated Iranian poet Simin Behbahani has died at the age of 87.
Famous for her writings on love and equal rights for women, her verse was said to have encapsulated the challenges of her compatriots since the 1979 revolution.
Nicknamed the ‘Lioness of Iran’ for her bravery the face of censorship, she died of heart and respiratory complications after two weeks in hospital, the state news agency announced.
She published 19 books of verse over six decades and was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature twice. More recently her words were used by President Obama in a sign of rapprochement with Iran after decades of diplomatic hostilities.
Many took to Twitter to share their feelings of loss at her death.
A true asset lost – Iranian poetess, Simin Behbahani passed away today – https://t.co/BCKfz8HT9S— Ellie Geranmayeh (@EllieGeranmayeh) August 19, 2014
My condolences to Iranians everywhere. Rest in peace, our mighty poet #SiminBehbahani— Shappi Khorsandi (@ShappiKhorsandi) August 19, 2014
Saddened to hear of death of Simin #Behbahani, the “lioness of Iran”, whose poetry was so loved by many Iranians— UK for Iranians (@UKforIranians) August 19, 2014