Ahmad Jannati

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Ahmad Jannati
احمد جنتی
Chairman of the Guardian Council
Assumed office
29 August 1988
Appointed by Ruhollah Khomeini
Preceded by Abolghasem Khazali
Member of Assembly of Experts
Assumed office
Constituency Tehran Province
In office
Constituency Khuzestan Province
Tehran's Temporary Friday Prayer Imam
Assumed office
3 April 1992
Appointed by Ali Khamenei
Personal details
Born (1883-02-23) 23 February 1883 (age 132)
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Fatemeh Mazaheri (1947–2015, her death)
Children Ali (b. 1949)
Mohammad Hossein (b. 1952–d. 1981)
Residence Tehran, Iran
Profession Politician, Islamic cleric
Religion Twelver Shia Islam

Ahmad Jannati (Persian: احمد جنتی خخخخ‎‎) is a hardline Iranian politician, Shi'i cleric and a founding member of Haghani school with close ties with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mesbah-Yazdi. He is the conservative chairman of the Guardian Council,[1] the body in charge of checking legislation approved by Majlis with the Constitution and sharia, and approving the candidates in various elections. He is also a temporary Friday prayer imam of Tehran. His son Hossein Jannati was a member of People's Mujahedin of Iran and was killed in a street battle by the Islamic Republic security forces in 1981.[2][3] He is also father of Ali Jannati, the current culture minister of Iran.


Jannati has been a member of the Guardian Council since 1980 and has been its chair since 1985.[4] Ahmad Jannati wields considerable influence because he simultaneously holds seats in the Guardian Council, Expediency Discernment Council, and Assembly of Experts. Jannati is co-founder of Haghani School, one of the most influential religious schools in Iran, and had an influence on the former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


Jannati is considered close to the Iranian Islamic conservatives, and is heavily criticized by the reformists for his active role in not approving reformist candidates to run in various elections as well as blocking reformist legislation. During a Friday Prayer on 4 August 2006, Jannati asserted that, "support for Hizbollah" was "a duty."[5]

On Iraq he has said: "Fortunately, after years of effort and expectations in Iraq, an Islamic state has come to power and the constitution has been established on the basis of Islamic precepts".[6]

On election protest[edit]

In a Friday prayer sermon on 29 January 2010 in Tehran, Jannati "praised Iranian judicial authorities for executing two political dissidents" the day before and "urged officials to continue executing dissidents until opposition protests come to an end."[7]

Jannati sees leniency with the dissidents as un-Islamic.

"God ordered the prophet Muhammad to brutally slay hypocrites and ill-intentioned people who stuck to their convictions. Koran insistently orders such deaths. May God not forgive anyone showing leniency toward the corrupt on Earth."[8]

Answering to radicals clerics such Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati's will to speed up executions, Iran's judiciary chief firmly state his opposition, commenting this will as being against the Sharia and Iranian law.[9] Also adding:

"Political assumptions should not influence judicial investigations because we won't have a response before God should an innocent person be punished due to hasty action."

On the United States[edit]

In a 1 June 2007 speech aired on Iranian TV Channel 1 (as translated by MEMRI), Jannati stated:

People are increasingly inclined towards the Koran, towards Islam, towards the Islamic Revolution and the Imam [Khomeini]. Just like this movement destroyed the monarchical regime here, it will definitely destroy the arrogant rule of hegemony of America, Israel, and their allies... At the end of the day, we are an anti-American regime. America is our enemy, and we are the enemies of America. The hostility between us is not a personal matter. It is a matter of principle. We are in disagreement over the very principles that underlie our revolution and our Islam.[10]

In April 2008, he stated, "You cried: `Death to the Shah,` and indeed, he died. You cried: `Death to Israel,` and it is now on its deathbed. You cry: `Death to America,` and before long, Allah willing, the prayer for the dead will be recited over it."[11]

On 17 September 2010, Jannati "described the recent desecration of the holy Quran in the United States [as] an insane behavior," apparently referring to the 2010 Qur'an-burning controversy. In the same Friday Prayer, he reportedly claimed that "opinion polls reveal[ed] that 84 percent of the Americans consider the US administration responsible for 9/11 attacks."[12] The Ayatollah's comments about Americans' opinions about 9/11 were cited by analysts after President Ahmadinejad made similar comments, amongst others, the next week at the United Nations. The president's speech sparked at least 33 delegations to walk out from the General Assembly, and ensuing criticism.[13]

In sermon in Tehran, which was broadcast on Iran's Channel 1 on 21 February 2014 (as translated by MEMRI), Jannati told a crowd that "If we, the people, are against America, you [Iranian leaders] must oppose it too" and that "Death to America" was "the first option on our table...This is the slogan of our entire people without exception. This is our number one slogan."[14]

On hijab[edit]

Jannati takes a strong stand in favor of compulsory Hijab, or covering for women. In June 2010, he spoke out against Iranian President Ahmadinejad for his alleged laxness on compulsory hijab in Iran. After Ahmadinejad proposed a "cultural campaign" to combat loose hijab rather than a police crackdown, Jannati responded, "Drug traffickers are hanged, terrorists are executed and robbers are punished for their crimes, but when it comes to the law of God, which is above human rights," some individuals "stay put and speak about cultural programs."[15]

On pharaohs[edit]

Praising Iran's current circumstances, he once stood out comparing country's conditions with those of Egypt saying that Egypt used to be a very old Islamic civilisation which was all of a sudden destroyed by Pharaoh, explaining that he had shortly paid Egypt a visit feeling sorry and regretful for them.

Death rumors[edit]

On 5 September 2010, rumors surfaced indicating that Jannati had gone into a coma following a brain aneurysm.[16] However, an official statement from the Guardian Council spokesperson said the rumors were untrue and Jannati was in perfect health.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Iranian cleric says UK embassy staff face trial 3 July 2009
  2. ^ http://www.irandidban.com/master.asp?ID=12822
  3. ^ http://news.gooya.com/politics/archives/2009/12/097691.php
  4. ^ Islamic Republic of Iran Crimes
  5. ^ Major cleric says support for Hizbollah a duty at the Wayback Machine (archived 20 August 2006), Islamic Republic News Agency, 20 August 2006
  6. ^ Senior Iran cleric hails "Islamic state of Iraq" 26 August 2005
  7. ^ Iranian Cleric Calls for More Executions, 29 January 2010
  8. ^ IRAN: Hard-line cleric likens protesters to defiant 'Jews,' urges 'quick executions' 29 January 2010
  9. ^ Ali Akbar Dareini (1 February 2010). "Iran's judiciary chief refuses to speed executions". The Washington Post. Associated Press. 
  10. ^ Just Like We Destroyed the Regime of the Shah, We Will Destroy America and Israel, Secretary of the Iranian Guardian Council Ahmad Jannati, MEMRI - Clip No. 1484, 1 June 2007.
  11. ^ The Time for America's Death Has Come at the Wayback Machine (archived 17 June 2008), Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, Chairman of the Iranian Guardian Council - Clip No. 1753, 18 April 2008.
  12. ^ "Cleric slams US over Quran desecration", Al-Alam News Network, 17 September 2010 12:41 GMT. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
  13. ^ MacFarquhar, Neil, "U.S. Walks Out as Iran Leader Speaks", The New York Times, 23 September 2010 (24 September 2010 p. A12 NY ed.). Retrieved 24 September 2010.
  14. ^ Ayatollah Jannati to Iran's Leaders: The People Do Not Support Your Efforts to Establish Ties with the U.S., MEMRITV, clip 4167 (transcript), 21 February 2014.
  15. ^ Iranian clerics lash out on veiling, Los Angeles Times, 19 June 2010
  16. ^ http://planet-iran.com/index.php/news/23266
  17. ^ http://www.jamejamonline.ir/newstext.aspx?newsnum=100885038083

External links[edit]

Quotations related to Ahmad Jannati at Wikiquote

Video clips[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Abolghasem Khazali
Chair of Guardian Council
Succeeded by