Ahmad Jannati

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Ahmad Jannati
احمد جنتی
Ahmad Jannati 13981202001086637178960977765061.jpg
Chairman of the Assembly of Experts
Assumed office
24 May 2016
Supreme LeaderAli Khamenei
Preceded byMohammad Yazdi
Secretary of the Guardian Council
Assumed office
17 July 1992[1]
Appointed byAli Khamenei
Preceded byMohammad Mohammadi Gilani
Tehran's Temporary Friday Prayer Imam
In office
3 April 1992[2] – 11 March 2018[3]
Appointed byAli Khamenei
Member of the Assembly of Experts
Assumed office
23 February 1999
ConstituencyTehran Province
Majority1,321,130 (29.35%)
In office
15 August 1983[4] – 22 February 1999
ConstituencyKhuzestan Province
Member of the Guardian Council
Assumed office
20 February 1980[5]
Appointed byRuhollah Khomeini
Ali Khamenei
Member of Expediency Discernment Council
In office
17 March 1997 – 20 September 2022
Appointed byAli Khamenei
ChairmanAkbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Ali Movahedi-Kermani (acting)
Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Sadeq Larijani
Personal details
Born (1927-02-23) 23 February 1927 (age 95)[6]
Isfahan, Imperial State of Persia
Political partyCombatant Clergy Association
Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom[7]
Spouse(s)First spouse (divorced)
Sediqeh Mazaheri (1947–2015; her death)
Third spouse (2017–present)
Children4, including Ali
Residence(s)Tehran, Iran
ProfessionPolitician, cleric

Ahmad Jannati (Persian: احمد جنتی, born 23 February 1927) is a conservative politician. He was born in Ladan, Isfahan. Jannati is known for his anti-LGBT rhetoric and opposition to secularism.[8] He is also a founding member of the Haghani school of thought.

Today, Jannati occupies two prominent posts in Iranian politics as chairman of the Assembly of Experts, the body charged with choosing the Supreme Leader, and as chairman of the Guardian Council,[9] the body in charge of checking legislation approved by Majlis with the Constitution and sharia, and approving the candidates in various elections.


Jannati has been a member of the Guardian Council since 1980 and has been its chair since 1988.[10][11]


During a Friday Prayer on 4 August 2006, Jannati asserted that "support for Hezbollah" was "a duty."[12] Regarding Iraq, around the time its draft constitution was presented to parliament in 2005, he 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".[13]

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."[14]

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."[15]

Responding to clerics such as Jannati wanting to speed up executions, Iran's judiciary chief firmly stated his opposition, commenting that it was against the Sharia and Iranian law:[16]

"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.[17]

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."[18]

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."[19] 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.[20]

In a 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."[21]

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."[22]

Public image[edit]

According to a poll conducted in March 2016 by Information and Public Opinion Solutions LLC (iPOS) among Iranian citizens, Jannati has 21% approval and 31% disapproval ratings and thus a –10% net popularity while 36% of Iranian people don't recognize the name.[23] Jannati has become a target of ageist stereotyping jokes in Iran.[24]


In February 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Jannati for "preventing free and fair elections in Iran."[25]

Personal life[edit]

Jannati's wife was Sediqeh Mazaheri with whom he had four sons. She died in 2015,[26] and he later remarried.[27] 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.[28][29] He is also father of Ali Jannati, who served as Minister of Culture.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ اعتراف جنتی: سرکوب کردیم، نابود نشدند (in Persian). Rooz Online. Archived from the original on 26 August 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  2. ^ ائمه جمعه تهران؛ از حضوری ۳ هفته‌ای تا ۴۲۴ حضور (in Persian). Fars News Agency. Archived from the original on 29 September 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  3. ^ موافقت با کناره‌گیری آیت الله جنتی از امامت جمعه تهران
  4. ^ "1982 Assembly of Experts Election", The Iran Social Science Data Portal, Princeton University, archived from the original on 19 October 2015, retrieved 10 August 2015
  5. ^ همه چیز درباره آیت الله احمد جنتی (in Persian). Iranian Students' News Agency. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati".
  7. ^ سايت اطلاع رساني شوراي نگهبان/آيت الله احمد جنتي (in Persian). Guardian Council. Archived from the original on 5 October 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Secretary of Iranian Guardian Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati: I Spit in the Face of the West, which Has Made Homosexuality Official and Legal".
  9. ^ Iranian cleric says UK embassy staff face trial 3 July 2009
  10. ^ Islamic Republic of Iran Crimes Archived 26 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Mehrzad Boroujerdi; Kourosh Rahimkhani (2018). Postrevolutionary Iran. A Political Handbook. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. ISBN 978-0815635741.
  12. ^ "Major cleric says support for Hizbollah a duty". Archived from the original on 20 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link), Islamic Republic News Agency, 20 August 2006
  13. ^ Senior Iran cleric hails "Islamic state of Iraq", 26 August 2005, archived from the original on 19 May 2011, retrieved 15 May 2016
  14. ^ "Senior Iranian Pro-Government Cleric Urges More Executions of Regime Opponents". VOA. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  15. ^ IRAN: Hard-line cleric likens protesters to defiant 'Jews,' urges 'quick executions' 29 January 2010
  16. ^ Ali Akbar Dareini (1 February 2010). "Iran's judiciary chief refuses to speed executions". The Washington Post. Associated Press.[dead link]
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "The Time for America's Death Has Come". Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link), Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, Chairman of the Iranian Guardian Council - Clip No. 1753, 18 April 2008.
  19. ^ "Cleric slams US over Quran desecration"[permanent dead link], Al-Alam News Network, 17 September 2010 12:41 GMT. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Iranian clerics lash out on veiling, Los Angeles Times, 19 June 2010
  23. ^ ظریف محبوب‌ترین چهره سیاسی ایران. Information and Public Opinion Solutions LLC (in Persian). 24 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  24. ^ Golnaz Esfandiari (25 January 2012). "Head of Iran's Guardians Council Now The Principal Butt Of Jokes". RFE/RL. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  25. ^ "Treasury Designates Senior Iranian Regime Officials Preventing Free and Fair Elections in Iran". United States Department of the Treasury. 20 February 2020. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  26. ^ پیکر همسر آیت الله جنتی عصر امروز در محله لادان اصفهان تشییع می شود (in Persian). The Islamic Republic News Agency. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  27. ^ ازدواج مجدد آیت‌الله جنتی به روایت پسرش (in Persian). Fararu. 18 September 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  28. ^ "سایت ایران دیدبان-خاطرات عزت شاهی (12)". Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  29. ^ "gooya news :: politics : نامه محسن مخملباف به مصطفی تاج‌زاده (درباره جنتی)". Retrieved 24 May 2016.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Chair of Guardian Council
Succeeded by