Combatant Clergy Association

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Not to be confused with the reformist Association of Combatant Clerics.
Combatant Clergy Association
General Secretary Ali Movahedi-Kermani
Spokesperson Gholamreza Mesbahi-Moghadam
Founded 1977; 39 years ago (1977)
Headquarters Tehran, Iran
Ideology Clericalism
Islamic democracy
Political position Right-wing
International affiliation None
5th Assembly of Experts
66 / 88 (75%)

The Combatant Clergy Association (Persian: جامعه روحانیت مبارز‎, translit. Jāme'e-ye Rowhāniyyat-e Mobārez‎) is a politically active group in Iran, but not a political party in the traditional sense. It is a traditional conservative clerical association, and was the majority party in the fourth and fifth parliaments after the Islamic revolution.[1] It is one of the biggest political factions of Iran.[2] Hassan Rouhani, president of Iran since 2013, is a member of the fraction.[3]


After the 15 Khordad demonstration failed in Iran, it was felt that a coherence organization was needed.[4] The association was founded in 1977 by a group of clerics with intentions to use Islamic culture and traditions to overthrow the Shah. Although the exact founding members of the group are unsure, some of them were said to be Ali Khamenei, Morteza Motahhari, Mohammad Beheshti, Mohammad Javad Bahonar, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Fazlollah Mahallati, and Mohammad Mofatteh,[5] and its current members include founding members Ali Khamenei and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.[6]

The Combatant Clergy Association was one of the only active republican groups before the Iran-Iraq war. A "free political atmosphere" was not provided in Iran due to the special conditions of wartime, and the Combatant Clergy Association was the only active political organisation after the dissolution of the Islamic Republican Party. By the emergence of factional differences in government of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the organization was divided, and Association of Combatant Clerics was formed.[7]

Goals and activities[edit]

The association brought together ani-Shah clerics and bazaaris.[8] It also aimed to preserve the revolution and its achievements. Supporting the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist and state organization are some of the group's goals. The association does not recognize itself as a political party and hence does not have any written strategy or policy. The association mostly announces its political viewpoints around election time.[5]

Members of the association have had important positions in the different governments of Iran. By 2004, four out of eight presidents of the executive branch of the government had been selected from this association. Also, the president of the judicial branch of the government was one the members of the association, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, for two five-year periods, from 1989 to 1999.[5]

Foreign policy[edit]

The association believes in making diplomatic relationships with all the world countries except United States and Israel, and their criteria in this regard is avoiding both being dominated by other countries and domination over others. However, they believe that there can be relationships with France and England under defined conditions. The association believes that there is an intrinsic differences between the value system of Iran and western societies.[9]

Financial sources[edit]

The forth chapter of the Combatant Clergy Association's statute deals with the financial issues of the association. The association has no financial source such as factories or businesses.[9]

Election results[edit]

Assembly of Experts[edit]

Election Seats won +/− Ref
69 / 86 (80%)
Steady [10]
69 / 86 (80%)
Steady [11]
66 / 88 (75%)
Decrease 3 [12]

List of General Secretaries[edit]

# Name Tenure Ref
1 Fazlollah Mahallati 1977–31 October 1981 [13]
2 Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani 1 November 1981–21 October 2014 [13]
Mohammed Emami-Kashani (interim) 1996 [13]
3 Ali Movahedi-Kermani 2 December 2014–present [13]


  1. ^ "تغییرات در ساختار سیاسی جمهوری اسلامی
    گذراز الیگارشی روحانیت به الیگارشی روحانیت و سپاه"
  2. ^ Jones, Derek (2001-12-01). Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. Routledge. ISBN 9781136798641. Retrieved 18 September 2016. 
  3. ^ Staff writers. "Salek: Combatant Clergy Association do not demand share from Rouhani". Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  4. ^ Staff writers. "Combatant Clergy Association; An Organization which was formed by Political Motivations" (in Persian). Young Journalists Club. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Staff writers (2004). "Performance history and strategies of Combatant Clergy Association (Part 1)". Hawzeh Pegah (in Persian) (135). Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "ایسنا - پیام تبریک جامعه مدرسین به مردم و حسن روحانی". Isna. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  7. ^ Haddad Adel, Gholamali; Elmi, Mohammad Jafar; Taromi-Rad, Hassan (2012-08-31). Political Parties: Selected Entries from Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam. EWI Press. ISBN 9781908433022. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  8. ^ Kandil, Hazem (2016-08-15). The Power Triangle: Military, Security, and Politics in Regime Change. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190239206. Retrieved 18 September 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Staff writers (2004). "Performance history and strategies of Combatant Clergy Association (Part 2)". Hawzeh Pegah (in Persian) (136). Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  10. ^ "جریان شناسی ادوار انتخابات مجلس خبرگان" (in Persian). Fars News Agency. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2016. 
  11. ^ "تاثیر حمایت جامعه مدرسین در رای آوری نامزدهای خبرگان/کدام اعضای کنونی نامزد جامعه مدرسین نبودند؟". Khabaronline (in Persian). 1 March 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  12. ^ "طیف بندی‌های خبرگان پنجم را بشناسید/ 3 منتخب اختصاصی جامعه مدرسین و 16 منتخب اختصاصی خبرگان مردم". Khabaronline (in Persian). 1 March 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  13. ^ a b c d "موحدی کرمانی دبیرکل شد" [Movahedi-Kermani became the General Secretary] (in Persian). Iranian Students' News Agency. 3 December 2014. 93091207754. Retrieved 25 June 2016.