Ali Larijani

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Ali Larijani
Sixth International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada, Tehran (15) (crop of Ali Larijani).jpg
Ali Larijani in 2017
22nd Speaker of the Parliament of Iran
Assumed office
5 June 2008[1]
Acting: 28 May–4 June 2008[2]
28–31 May 2012
29–30 May 2016
DeputyMohammad-Reza Bahonar
Hassan Aboutorabi
Masoud Pezeshkian
Preceded byGholam-Ali Haddad-Adel
Member of the Parliament of Iran
Assumed office
28 May 2008
Majority191,329 (43.11%)
Secretary of Supreme National Security Council
In office
15 August 2005 – 20 October 2007
PresidentMahmoud Ahmadinejad
Preceded byHassan Rouhani
Succeeded bySaeed Jalili
Chief Nuclear Negotiator of Iran
In office
16 August 2005 – 20 October 2007
PresidentMahmoud Ahmadinejad
DeputyJavad Vaidi
Preceded byHassan Rouhani
Succeeded bySaeed Jalili
Head of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
In office
13 February 1994 – 23 May 2004
Appointed byAli Khamenei[3]
Preceded byMohammad Hashemi
Succeeded byEzzatollah Zarghami
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance
In office
11 August 1992 – 16 August 1993
Acting: 16 July - 11 August 1992[4]
PresidentAkbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Preceded byMohammad Khatami
Succeeded byMostafa Mir-Salim
Personal details
Ali Ardashir Larijani

(1957-06-03) 3 June 1957 (age 62)
Najaf, Karbala Liwa, Iraq
Political partyIslamic Coalition Party (1990s)
Other political
Spouse(s)Farideh Motahhari
ChildrenFatemeh Ardeshir Larijani
Mohammad Reza
ParentsMirza Hashem Amoli (father)[5]
Alma materAryamehr University of Technology
University of Tehran (Doctor of Philosophy)
Military service
Branch/serviceRevolutionary Guards
Years of service1982–1992
RankBrigadier general[6]
CommandsDeputy Chief of the Joint Staff
Battles/warsIran–Iraq War

Ali Larijani (Persian: علی لاریجانی‎, Persian pronunciation: [æliː-e lɒːɾiːdʒɒːniː]; born 3 June 1957) is an Iranian conservative politician, philosopher and former military officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who has been Speaker of the Parliament of Iran since 2008.[7] Larijani was the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 15 August 2005 to 20 October 2007, appointed to the position by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,[8] replacing Hassan Rouhani. Acceptance of Larijani's resignation from the secretary position was announced on 20 October 2007 by Gholamhossein Elham, the Iranian government's spokesman, mentioning that his previous resignations were turned down by President Ahmadinejad.[9]

Larijani was one of the two representatives of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ali Khamenei to the council, the other being Hassan Rouhani.[10] In his post as secretary he effectively functioned as the top negotiator on issues of national security, including Iran's nuclear program.

Early life[edit]

Ali Larijani was born on 3 June 1957 in Najaf to Iranian parents.[11][12] He hails from a religious family based in Amol in the province of Mazandaran.[13] His father was a leading cleric, Ayatollah Mirza Hashem Amoli.[10] His parents moved to Najaf in 1931 due to pressure of then ruler Reza Shah, but returned to Iran in 1961.[13]


Larijani is a graduate of Qom.[14] He also holds a bachelor of science degree in computer science and mathematics from Aryamehr University of Technology and holds a master's degree and Ph.D. in Western philosophy from University of Tehran.[13] Initially, he wanted to continue his graduate studies in computer science, but changed his subject after consultation with Morteza Motahhari. Larijani has published books on Immanuel Kant, Saul Kripke, and David Lewis. Dr. Larijani is a faculty member of University of Tehran School of Literature and Humanities.[15]


Larijani is a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards.[10] Larijani served as the deputy minister of labour and social affairs,[16] and then was appointed deputy minister of information and communications technology.[16] In March 1994, he was appointed as head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, replacing Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani in the post.[17][18] He was in office until 21 July 2004 and was succeeded by Ezzatollah Zarghami after serving ten years in the post. He became security adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in August 2004.

Larijani meeting with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, 2016
Larijani with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2019

Larijani was a presidential candidate for the 2005 presidential elections, where he ranked sixth, winning 5.94% of the votes. He was considered the most important presidential candidate of the conservative alliance for the 2005 presidential elections. He was supported by the Islamic Society of Engineers (ISE), among other conservative groups. He had been announced as the final choice of the conservative Council for Coordination of the Forces of the Revolution, which was made from representatives of some influential conservative parties and organizations. But he proved to be the least popular of the three conservative candidates, the others being Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (second rank in the first round, winner in the second round) and Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf (fourth rank in the first round).

In 2005, Larijani was appointed secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, a body which helps draw up nuclear and other policies, by Khamenei.[19] He replaced Hassan Rouhani in the post.[20] As chief nuclear negotiator, Iranian analysts said he differed with the president over how to pursue negotiations with his European counterparts and say he backed a more pragmatic approach.

As Iran's top nuclear envoy Larijani said on 25 April 2007 that he expected "new ideas" from senior EU official Javier Solana at talks on resolving the deadlock between Tehran's refusal to freeze its nuclear programme and United Nations Security Council demands that it do so.[21]

In the March 2008 parliamentary election, Larijani won a seat from Qom. He said that he was willing to work with Ahmadinejad; according to Larijani, he did not disagree with Ahmadinejad on ideological issues and they had only "differences in style". In May 2008, Larijani became speaker of the parliament. He was reelected in next years as chairman of the parliament. He was re-elected in 2012 elections as the Qom district's high receiving candidate. He was also elected for another term as chairman of the parliament on 5 June 2012 and was sworn in on 11 June 2012.

Larijani implied on 21 June 2009 that authorities took the side of one candidate, without clarifying which candidate.[22] Just after the election, Larijani reportedly congratulated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi as he, having "access to firsthand and classified information and news", believed Mousavi had won the election.[23] However, on 22 October 2012, during a QA meeting with the students of Iran University of Science and Technology, Larijani denied the allegations that he had congratulated Mousavi.[24] He was elected as speaker in the new Majlis in May 2016.[25]

Electoral history[edit]

Year Election Votes % Rank Notes
2005 President 1,713,810 5.83 6th Lost
2008 Parliament 239,436 73.01 1st Won
2012 Parliament Increase 270,382 Decrease 65.17 1st Won
2016 Parliament Decrease 191,329 Decrease 40.31 2nd Won


Larijani was considered to maintain Motalefeh membership and views while in Hashemi Rafsanjani cabinet (1992–1994).[26] Iranian scholar Mehdi Moslem in his 2002 book named Factional Politics in Post-Khomeini Iran, suggests that Larijani had been a member of Motalefeh and part of the ‘traditional right’.[27] Payam Mohseni, a fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, classifies Larijani as a lead figure in the ‘theocratic right’ camp, whose other prominent are Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi and Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani.[28]

Larijani was one of the leaders of the Principlists Pervasive Coalition in 2008 parliamentary elections,[29] and a United Front of Principlists leader.[30] During Iranian 2016 parliamentary election Larijani was the leader of the Followers of Wilayat faction,[31] although he was backed by the reformist List of Hope and said he is running as an independent candidate.[32]

He is also described as a center-right politician who has "slowly distanced himself from the Principlist camp"[33] and a "conservative-turned-moderate".[34]

Larijani is known to have close associates, including the interior minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli,[35] Behrouz Nemati, spokesman for the parliament's presiding board,[33] and Kazem Jalali, head of the parliament's research center.[33]

Public image[edit]

According to a poll conducted in March 2016 by Information and Public Opinion Solutions LLC (iPOS) among Iranian citizens, Larijani has 45% approval and 34% disapproval ratings and thus a +11% net popularity; while 11% of voters don't recognize the name.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Larijani is a brother of Sadegh Larijani (President of the Judicature), Mohammad-Javad Larijani, Bagher Larijani (Chancellor of Tehran University of Medical Sciences), and Fazel Larijani (Iran's former cultural attachée in Ottawa).[13][37] Larijani is also a cousin of Ahmad Tavakkoli (Larijani's and Tavakkoli's mothers are sisters).[13] Larijani is the son-in-law of Ayatollah Morteza Motahhari,[13][38]


  1. ^ "علی لاریجانی رئیس مجلس ایران شد". BBC Persian. 5 June 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  2. ^ "علی لاریجانی رئیس موقت مجلس نهم ایران شد". BBC Persian. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  3. ^ "انتصاب دکتر علی لاریجانی به‌ ریاست سازمان‌ صدا و سیما". 13 February 1994. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  4. ^ "All ministers of the 30 years" (in Persian). Khabar Online. 15 August 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d Marsha B. Cohen (May 2013). "The Brothers Larijani: A sphere of power". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  6. ^ M. Mahtab Alam Rizvi (2012). "Evaluating the Political and Economic Role of the IRGC". Strategic Analysis. 36 (4): 589. doi:10.1080/09700161.2012.689528. The Majlis speaker, Ali Larijani, was an IRGC brigadier general.
  7. ^ Orla Ryan, "Ahmadinejad rival elected as Iranian speaker", The Guardian, 28 May 2008]
  8. ^ انتصاب دكتر لاريجاني به عنوان دبير شورايعالي عالي امنيت ملي از سوي رييس جمهور. ISNA (in Persian). Iranians Students News Agency. 15 August 2005. Archived from the original on 24 October 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2007.
  9. ^ "Iran's Top Nuclear Negotiator Ali Amoli Larijani Resigns". Fox News. AP. 20 October 2007. Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  10. ^ a b c Frederic Wehrey; Jerrold D. Green; Brian Nichiporuk; Alireza Nader; Lydia Hansell; Rasool Nafisi; S. R. Bohandy (2009). "The Rise of the Pasdaran" (PDF). RAND Corporation. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Ali Larijani – Biography and facts". Whoislog. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  12. ^ Profile: Ali Larijani Tabnak
  13. ^ a b c d e f Sahimi, Mohammad (20 August 2009). "Nepotism & the Larijani Dynasty". PBS. Los Angeles. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  14. ^ Shmuel Bar; Shmuel Bacher; Rachel Machtiger (January 2008). "Iranian nuclear decision making under Ahmedinejad" (PDF). Lauder School of Government. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b Samaha, Nour. "The Brothers Larijani: A sphere of power". AlJazeera. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  17. ^ Feuilherade, Peter (1 April 1994). "Iran: media and the message". The Middle East. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  18. ^ Sahimi, Mohammad (14 March 2011). "Rafsanjani's Exit from Power: What Next?". PBS. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  19. ^ Kazemzadeh, Masoud (2007). "Ahmadinejad's Foreign Policy". Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. 27 (2): 423–449. doi:10.1215/1089201x-2007-015. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  20. ^ Posch, Walter (November 2007). "Only personal? The Larijani Crisis Revisited" (PDF). Policy Brief (3). Retrieved 17 June 2013.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ "Iran's Top Envoy Says He Expects 'New Ideas' From EU Official on Nuclear Issue". FoxNews. Associated Press. 25 April 2007. Archived from the original on 23 October 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2007.
  22. ^ CNN report: "Although the Guardian Council is made up of religious individuals, I wish certain members would not side with a certain presidential candidate," Larijani told the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) without naming whom he meant.
  23. ^ "IRAN: Well-informed Larijani congratulated Mousavi on election day, report says". Los Angeles Times. 11 August 2009.
  24. ^ لاریجانی: گردنکشی مقابل رهبری عزت نیست. BBC (in Persian). 23 October 2012.
  25. ^ "Larijani elected interim parliament speaker". 29 May 2016.
  26. ^ Sinkaya, Bayram (2015), The Revolutionary Guards in Iranian Politics: Elites and Shifting Relations, Routledge, p. 149, ISBN 978-1317525646
  27. ^ Gareth Smyth (11 December 2015). "A realignment of Iran's political factions underway as elections loom". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  28. ^ Mohseni, Payam (2016). "Factionalism, Privatization, and the Political economy of regime transformation". In Brumberg, Daniel; Farhi, Farideh (eds.). Power and Change in Iran: Politics of Contention and Conciliation. Indiana Series in Middle East Studies. Indiana University Press. p. 43. ISBN 9780253020796.
  29. ^ Kaveh-Cyrus Sanandaji (2009), "The Eighth Majles Elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran: A Division in Conservative Ranks and the Politics of Moderation", Iranian Studies, 42 (4): 621–648, doi:10.1080/00210860903106345
  30. ^ "Iran: Implications of Ahmadinejad's Parliamentary Defeat", Stratfor (Assessment), 5 May 2012, retrieved 2 July 2017
  31. ^ Monavar Khalaj (23 February 2016). "Iran elections explained: What are Iranians voting for?". Financial Times. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  32. ^ Katayoun Kishi (24 February 2016). "Iran's Election Coalitions". United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  33. ^ a b c Ehsan Bodaghi (4 May 2017). "'National dialogue' initiative indicates shifting political sands in Iran". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  34. ^ Saheb Sadeghi (7 February 2017). "Why this Iranian conservative-turned-moderate will succeed Rafsanjani". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  35. ^ Randjbar Daemi, Siavush (8 August 2013). "In Iran, Rowhani's first cabinet strikes a complex balance". The Conversation. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  36. ^ "ظریف محبوب‌ترین چهره سیاسی ایران". Information and Public Opinion Solutions LLC (in Persian). 24 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  37. ^ Erdbrink, Thomas (5 February 2013). "High-Level Feud Bares Tensions in Iran". The New York Times.
  38. ^ Sohrabi, Naghmeh (July 2011). "The Power Struggle in Iran: A Centrist Comeback?" (PDF). Middle East Brief (53).

External links[edit]

Military offices
New title Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff of IRGC
Succeeded by
Hossein Dehghan
Government offices
Preceded by
Mohammad Khatami
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance
Succeeded by
Mostafa Mir-Salim
Media offices
Preceded by
Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani
Director-General of IRIB
Succeeded by
Ezzatollah Zarghami
Political offices
Title last held by
Ahmad Khomeini
Supreme Leader's Representative at SNSC
With: Hassan Rouhani
Succeeded by
Saeed Jalili
Preceded by
Hassan Rouhani
Secretary of Supreme National Security Council
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Hassan Rouhani
Chief Nuclear Negotiator of Iran
Succeeded by
Saeed Jalili
Assembly seats
Preceded by
Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel
Speaker of Parliament of Iran
Succeeded by