Ahmad Khomeini

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Ahmad Khomeini
Portrait of Ahmad Khomeini - 1995 (cropped).jpg
Born(1946-03-15)15 March 1946
Died16 March 1995(1995-03-16) (aged 49)
Resting placeMausoleum of Ruhollah Khomeini
Political partyIslamic Republican Party[2]
Spouse(s)Fatemeh Tabatabaei
Parent(s)Ruhollah Khomeini
Khadijeh Saqafi

Sayyid Ahmad Khomeini (Persian: سید احمد خمینی‎;‎ 15 March 1946 – 16 March 1995)[1] was the younger son of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and father of Hassan Khomeini. He was the "right-hand" of his father before, during and after the revolution of Iran. He was a link between Ruholah Khomeini and officials and people. He had several decision-making positions.

He died because of a heart disease and was buried next to his father.

Early life and education[edit]

Ahmad Khomeini was born in Qom on 15 March 1946, where he did his primary and secondary education in Owhadi and Hakin Nezami school, respectively.[3] and then started seminary studies and accomplished primary and secondary hawza courses. He secretly joined his father, Ruhollah Khomeini, after his father was exiled to Najaf.[1]

Career and activities[edit]

Ahmad was regarded as Khomeini's "right-hand man",[4] the "torch-bearer for his father's anti-Western radicalism"[5] and was close to his father, the leader of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. He helped coordinate affairs during and after the Iranian Revolution, in Khomeini's office in Najaf, Paris and subsequent to the ayatollah's return to Iran in February 1979.[1][6] He used to visit the deprived areas to learn their shortages and reported his findings to Imam Khomeini. His letters containing the issues he had encountered is available.[3] He was among the officials went through Fatah training.[7]

His political life career commenced after death of his brother, Mostafa.[8] In the 6 years after the death of his father, he had several decision-making positions.[8] He served as his father's chief of staff until his father's death in 1989. From the summer of 1988 to 1989, death of Khomeini, he was one of the decision-makers in all official issues along with Rafsanjani and Khamenei.[9] He was a member of Iran's Supreme National Security Council without assuming any executive position.[10] He was a member of Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution by Ali Khamenei's official order.[11] He became the overseer of the Mausoleum of Khomeini. He spoke against America, Israel and what he called "exploitative Iranian capitalists," on several occasions.[5]

During hostage crisis[edit]

During the Iran hostage crisis, he had a "prominent role" and made "tough anti-American statements". According to the hostages, after Ahmad's visit to the then taken over embassy, he greeted the students and congratulated them for their action. Emphasizing on that some of the hostages were CIA agents based on the discovered documents, he repeated his father's threat "to put some of the captives on trial for spying" if the recently toppled Shah was "not returned to Iran."[5]

During Iran-Iraq war[edit]

During the war, he had an important role reporting government general issues to his father and relaying the Imam's messages to officials and others. He also used to act as counsel for his father and other high-ranking officials.[3]

Letter to Ayatollah Montazeri[edit]

On 29 April 1989, Ahmad Khomeini wrote a "more than three pages" letter addressing Ayatollah Monatzeri saying that he was regretful for Monatzeri's being heedless of "Imam's calls."[12] Producing a list of accusations, Ahmad Khomeini tried to show that Montazeri's leadership would be harmful to the revolution. "Was it not because of your affection for Mehdi Hashemi that you created so many problems for Islam and the revolution?" said Ahmad Khomeini in a part of the letter.[13] In response, Montazeri defended Mehdi Hashemi, an Iranian Shia cleric who was defrocked later, and said that he would "stay away from politics."[12]

Personal life[edit]

His wife was Fatemeh Soltani Tabatabai, daughter of Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Bagher Soltani Tabatabai Borujerdi, niece of Imam Musa Sadr, the Shia religious leader of Lebanon.[14] She was also the sister of Sadegh Tabatabai.


According to pro-government media, Ahmad Khomeini suffered a cardiac arrest on 12 March 1995, and went into a coma. He died five days later, on 17 March 1995, hours after being connected to life support machinery.[5] Iran government announced two days of national mourning after Ahmad Khomeini's death.[5] Ahmad Khomeini is entombed next to his father in a grand shrine south of Tehran, where his son, Hassan Khomeini, is the superintendent.

At least one author regarded his death as suspicious, stating that "he died in his sleep", without mentioning the heart attack five days prior and subsequent coma.[15] According to Assembly of the Forces of Imam's Line, the Tehran times reported that the rumors regarding Ahmad Khomeini's death was originally published by Alireza Nourizadeh, an alleged “British spy” according to the government. Under duress, his son, Hassan Khomeini “confirmed” this, calling the rumors "baseless" and repeated the claim that they were created by a “British spy.”[16]

However, non-government sources claim that Ahmad Khomeini was indeed killed after falling foul of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the then president, Hashemi Rafsanjani.[17] On multiple occasions, Hassan Khomeini himself publicly claimed that his father was poisoned by the Iranian intelligence agents with the help of pills that his father had received at the hospital.[18]


Ahmads's father, Ruhollah, described him as such:

"I bear witness that since the time my son Ahmad has entered the issues of the day, had contact with my works up to the present time I am writing these few lines, I have not experienced a single case of violation of my orders. In statements, communique and the like, he has not garbled or interfered in them without my satisfaction, nor has he attributed anything contrary to my words. In a word, I have not observed any offence from him."[3]

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Current supreme leader of Iran, described him as who solved many problems and did many things throughout the revolution. Khamenei called him capable and a unique and necessary element besides Khomeini. According to Ayatollah Mohammad Fazel Lankarani, Ahmad was a strong column, a capable arm for the government, supreme leader and the officials.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Staff. "Imam highly trusted Seyyed Ahmad Khomeini". Imam Khomeini. Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini's Works.
  2. ^ Alfoneh, Ali (2013), Iran Unveiled: How the Revolutionary Guards Is Transforming Iran from Theocracy into Military Dictatorship, AEI Press, p. 90
  3. ^ a b c d e "Late Haj Sayyed Ahmad Khomeini; If someday our movement is not in accordance with that of the Wali, it's our fault". Tasnim News. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  4. ^ "In Islam and Revolution in the Middle East". Economist. 18 March 1989. p. 95. Retrieved 8 June 2016. – via General OneFile (subscription required)
  5. ^ a b c d e Pace, Eric (18 March 1995). "Ahmed Khomeini Is Dead; Son of Ayatollah Khomeini". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  6. ^ Sayyed Ahmad Khomeini, IRIB.
  7. ^ Timmerman, Kenneth R. (April 2002). "See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism". go.galegroup.com. Commentary. p. 70. Retrieved 8 June 2016. – via General OneFile (subscription required)
  8. ^ a b MOIN, BAQUER (18 March 1995). "OBITUARY:Ahmad Khomeini". The Independent. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  9. ^ Mozaffari, Mahdi (1993). "Changes in the Iranian political system after Khomeini's death". Political Studies. XLI (4): 611–617. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9248.1993.tb01659.x.
  10. ^ Sahimi, Mohammad (20 August 2009). "Nepotism & the Larijani Dynasty". PBS. Los Angeles. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  11. ^ "Assignation of Hojatol Islam Sayyed Ahmad Khomeini to the membership of supreme council of cultural revolution". Leader.ir (in Persian). Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  12. ^ a b Suwaidi, Jamal S. (1996). Iran and the Gulf: A Search for Stability. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 9781860641442.
  13. ^ Menashri, David (6 December 2012). Post-Revolutionary Politics in Iran: Religion, Society and Power. Routledge. ISBN 9781136333644. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Musa al Sadr: The Untold Story". Asharq Alawsat. 31 May 2008. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  15. ^ Manouchehr Ganji (2002). Defying the Iranian Revolution: From a Minister to the Shah to a Leader of Resistance. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-275-97187-8. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  16. ^ Staff writers (15 March 2014). "The project of making Sayyed Ahmad's death suspicious". www.farhangnews.ir. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  17. ^ Robert Tait (21 July 2009). "Grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini 'leaves Iran to avoid presidential inauguration'". TheGuardian. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  18. ^ Shay, Shaul (19 October 2017). The Axis of Evil: Iran, Hizballah, and the Palestinian Terror. ISBN 9781351322461.

External links[edit]

Political offices
New title Supreme Leader's Representative at SNSC
With: Hassan Rouhani
Title next held by
Ali Larijani