TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Former French leader Jacques Chirac died at age of 86, his family reported.

– World news –

Apart from two presidential terms, he held several other offices in his political career, including the mayor of Paris and the prime minister, RT reported.

Chirac led France between 1995 and 2007 on a liberal conservative platform derived from the policies of Charles de Gaulle. His presidency was a turbulent one from the start. Elected for his first term in a country gripped by worker discontent, he failed to meet protester expectations and imposed austerity measures.

During his first year in power he faced a general strike while his popularity suffered a hit that made his reelection campaign a really close call. Winning just 20 percent of the vote in the first term in 2002, he nevertheless managed to secure a second term beating Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the right-wing National Front party.

Under his leadership France saw a resurgance as an independent player after years of following the lead of the US. He famously rejected calls by George W. Bush and Tony Blair to join Washington’s ‘Coalition of the willing’ to invade Iraq in 2003. He also vocally criticized Israel for the 2006 war with Lebanon.