Hossein Marashi

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Hossein Marashi
حسین مرعشی
Hossein Marashi 01.jpg
Marashi in August 2014
Head of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization
In office
2 June 2003 – 4 August 2005
President Mohammad Khatami
Preceded by Mohammad Beheshti
Succeeded by Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei
Chief of Staff of the President of Iran
In office
2 September 1989 – 20 August 1997
President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Preceded by Hamid Sepehri
Succeeded by Mohammad-Ali Abtahi
Personal details
Born (1958-11-17) 17 November 1958 (age 58)
Rafsanjan, Iran
Political party Executives of Construction
Religion Shia Islam

Hossein Marashi ( حسین مرعشی; born 17 November 1958 in Rafsanjan) is an Iranian politician. He served as the Iranian Vice President for Cultural Heritage and Tourism from 2003 to 2005. Prior to that, Marashi represented Kerman in the Iranian parliament. He strongly backed opposition candidate Mousavi in the 2009 Iranian election.[1] Mr Marashi is also reportedly a close ally of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, another former president.[2] He has been speaker of the Executives of Construction Party.

He was the head of the province of Kerman for nearly nine years. He founded a charity by the name of Kerman Molal-Movahedin Non-Profit Institute, which owns Mahan Air, an Iranian airline. In 2011, the charity was involved in a scandal when it was accused of buying airplanes on behalf of Mahan Air. The airline had been facing sanctions by the United States Department of the Treasury for allegedly transporting weapons and advisors to troubled areas such as Syria and Yemen. The claim that firm had any connection with these political actives was denied by members of its board, and Marashi himself.[3][4]

As the head of Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran, Marashi increased the budget of the organization. However, some of Marashi's opponents believe that he was responsible for the disappearance of invaluable historical pieces, and the destruction of historical buildings. These opponents claim that despite public pressure, he never took any action to stop the destruction of historical artifacts.[citation needed] Marashi supported the construction of the controversial Sivand Dam in the territory of Pasargadae The dam was constructed in proximity to the ancient city, and experts believe that if the dam burst, it could destroy several UNESCO World Heritage Sites.[5]

On March 19, 2010 it was announced that Marashi had been jailed by the Iran, when a court of appeals upheld his one-year prison term. He was released from prison earlier than that, on January 25, 2011.[6]

Marashi is a cousin of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's wife.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Hamid Sepehri
Chief of Staff of the President of Iran
1989–1997
Succeeded by
Mohammad-Ali Abtahi
Preceded by
Mohammad Beheshti
Head of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization
2003–2005
Succeeded by
Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei