Ahmad Sayyed Javadi

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Ahmad Sadr Haj Sayyed Javadi
احمد صدر حاج‌سیدجوادی
Ahmad Sayyed Javadi.jpg
Minister of Justice
In office
20 June 1979 – 6 November 1979
Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan
Preceded by Assodollah Mobasheri
Succeeded by Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani
Minister of Interior
In office
13 February 1979 – 20 June 1979
Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan
Preceded by Shapour Bakhtiar
Succeeded by Hashem Sabbaghian
Member of the Parliament of Iran
In office
28 May 1980 – 28 May 1984
Constituency Qazvin
Majority 100,717 (53.40%)[1]
Personal details
Born 24 June 1917
Qazvin, Iran
Died 31 March 2013(2013-03-31) (aged 95)
Tehran, Iran
Nationality Iranian
Political party Freedom Movement

Ahmad Sadr Haj Seyyed Javadi (24 June 1917 – 31 March 2013) was an Iranian lawyer, political activist and politician, who served as interior minister and justice minister. He was the first interior minister after the 1979 revolution in Iran.

Early life and education[edit]

Javadi was born into a devoutly religious family in Qazvin on 24 June 1917.[2] He was the cousin of Ziaeddin Haj Sayyed Javadi, who was a member of the Majlis during the premiership of Mohammad Mosaddegh.[3] He received a law degree and a PhD in political science.[4]

Career and political activities[edit]

Javadi, along with Mehdi Bazargan, Yadollah Sahabi and Ayatollah Mahmoud Taleghani, founded the Liberation Movement (LMI) (Nehzat-e-Azad-e-Iran) of Iran in 1961.[2] He was appointed prosecutor of Tehran when Ali Amini was prime minister in 1961, and served for eighteen months.[2] When the LMI was banned, Javadi became a member of the opposition group against Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.[2] Following the Six-Day War in 1967, Javadi was one of the critics of Israel.[5] In 1968, he stated "piety and spirituality have left our society. Instead our hearts have been filled with fear and darkness. We must struggle for justice and attempt to build a society that is modelled after madinah-ye fazeleh [the prelude to the ideal unitarian classless Islamic society]."[6] This view was the common sentiment among Muslim intellectuals of the period in Iran.[6] For Javadi, the solution to the problems experienced in Iranian society was the creation of an Islamic society.[6]

In 1977, he was among the members and founders of the newly formed Human Rights Committee in Iran.[3] Bazargan was elected as the head and Javadi as the vice head of the committee.[3] Javadi was also one of the lawyers of Seyyed Mahmoud Taleghani together with Hasan Nazih in 1977.[7] He also defended Ali Khamenei, Ali Shariati, and Hossein Ali Montazeri during the Pahlavi era.[8][9]

Following the 1979 revolution in Iran, Javadi contributed to the draft of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic. He was a member of the revolutionary council[10] and of the Islamic legislative assembly[4] He served as the Qazvin representative at the first Majlis from 1980 to 1984.[2] He was appointed the minister of interior to the interim government of then prime minister Mehdi Bazargan.[4] He was in office as interior minister from 13 February 1979 to June 1979.[11] He was succeeded by Hashem Sabbaghian as interior minister.[12] In June 1979, Javadi was appointed justice minister when Assadollah Mobasheri was resigned.[12] Javadi's tenure lasted until November 1979 when the interim government resigned.

Javadi also became the head of the Human Rights Committee after the revolution.[3] However, the committee's office was closed in November 1980, and Javadi had to leave Iran in the fall of 1981.[3] Later he joined the foundation of the Freedom Movement, an opposition group in Iran.[13] He was a member of the central council of the movement.[14]

Later years[edit]

In 1985, Javadi was detained and tortured by Iranian security forces due to his criticisms about the arrest of the opposition figures.[15] In 2001, when he was 81 years old, he was again arrested for his opposition activities.[15] Javadi and other oppositional figures issued a statement against the death penalty for juvenile offenders in Iran in April 2009.[16] Javadi wrote a letter to Ali Khamanei, supreme leader of Iran, on 18 May 2011,[17] and stated that Khamenei was "religiously and legally" responsible for the events in Iran, criticising Khamenei's support for Ahmadinejad.[8] Next month he issued another letter addressing Iranians.[8] In the letter, he apologized due to his function "in the founding of the government".[8] In May 2012, Javadi and four other significant political activists, namely Hossein Shah Hosseini, Azam Taleghani, Mohammad Basteh Negar and Nezamoddin Ghahhari, sent a letter to the supreme leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, in which they expressed their concerns over the killings and arrests of the opposition figures in the country.[18]

In July 2012, Javadi was banned from travelling by the government of Iran.[14]


Javadi was awarded by the Association for Defense of the Freedom of the Press with the Golden Pen Award in 2009.[19]


Javadi died aged 95 in Tehran on 31 March 2013.[8][15]


  1. ^ Profile
  2. ^ a b c d e "'Head Off This Brakeless Train': Haj Seyyed Javadi's Letter to Khamenei". PBS. 29 January 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Houchang E. Chehabi (1990). Iranian Politics and Religious Modernism: The Liberation Movement of Iran Under the Shah and Khomeini. I.B.Tauris. p. 231. ISBN 978-1-85043-198-5. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Dr. Ahmad Sadr Haj Sayyed Javadi’s Letter to the People of Iran". The Center for the Study of Strategic Nonviolent Defense. 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Ahouie, Mahdi. "Developments of Iranian Political Discourse on Israel: From Past to Present". Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Manochehr Dorraj (1990). From Zarathustra to Khomeini: Populism and Dissent in Iran. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner. p. 122. Retrieved 31 August 2013.  – via Questia (subscription required)
  7. ^ Sahimi, Muhammad (31 March 2012). "The Nationalist-Religious Movement Part 2: The Revolutionary Era". PBS. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Karami, Arash (2 April 2013). "Khamenei’s Lawyer Passes Away". Al Monitor. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Ahmad Haj Sayyed Javadi: 1917-2013". Uskowi on Iran. 31 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Rubin, Barry (1980). Paved with Good Intentions (PDF). New York: Penguin Books. p. 283. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 October 2013. 
  11. ^ Mark, Clyde R. (15 September 1979). "Iran in crisis" (PDF). The Library of Congress. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Khomeini averts Iran crisis". The Morning Record and Journal. Tehran. UPI. 21 June 1979. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Senior Iranian Activist Says Revolutionary Courts 'Illegal'". Payvand. RFE/RL. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "Shirin Ebadi’s Report on Human Rights Situation in Iran in Tir 1391 [June-July 2012]". Defensers of Human Rights Center. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c "Longtime Iranian political activist dies". Payvand. 31 March 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "Statement of a Group of Islamic Jurists, Lawyers and Social and Political Activists". Defenders of Human Rights Center. 26 April 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  17. ^ "‘Apologise, impeach Ahmadinejad, step down,’ dissidents tell Khamenei". A time to betray. 31 January 2012. Archived from the original on 2 August 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "Five prominent figures send letter to Supreme Leader". Iran Daily Brief. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "Dr. Sadr Haj Seyyed Javadi's Private Letter to Khamenei Disclosed". The Center for the Study of Strategic Nonviolent Defense. Retrieved 10 February 2013.