Maryam Rajavi

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Maryam Rajavi
Maryam Rajavi in 2006.jpg
President elect of the National Council of Resistance
Assumed office
28 August 1993
Preceded by Massoud Rajavi
Leader of the People's Mojahedin Organization
Assumed office
2 February 1993
Preceded by Massoud Rajavi
Deputy Leader of the People's Mojahedin Organization
In office
9 December 1989 – 2 February 1993
Leader Massoud Rajavi
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Fahimeh Arvani
Personal details
Born (1953-12-04) 4 December 1953 (age 62)[1]
Tehran, Iran
Political party People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran
Spouse(s) Massoud Rajavi (m. 1985)[1]
Children Mostafa (b. 1980)
Ashraf (b. 1982)[1]
Religion Islam

Maryam Rajavi (born Maryam Azodanlu on 4 December 1953,[1] in Tehran, Iran) is an Iranian politician who is President elect of National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) since 1993. She is the wife of Massoud Rajavi, founder of the People's Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI).[2] Her organization is supported primarily among the exiled Iranian communities in Europe[3] and numerous American political officials such as former New York City Mayor and Presidential Contender Rudy Giuliani.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Rajavi was raised in Tehran as the daughter of a middle-class civil servant descended from a member of the Qajar dynasty.[6] She attended the Sharif University of Technology in Iran, earning a B.S. in Metallurgy.[7]

Political career[edit]

Rajavi has stated that her political activism started when she was twenty-two after her sister Narges's killing by Shah Muhammad Reza's secret police.[6] Then she became a member of the People's Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK), "an Iranian organization founded in 1965 by a small group of intellectuals led by Muhammad Hanifnejad."[8]

Rajavi served as an organizer of the anti-Shah student movement in the 1970s and in 1979, became an official of the social section of the PMOI/MEK, where she served until 1981. During that time, Rajavi was a parliamentary candidate in 1980. In 1985, she became Joint-Leader of the PMOI and served in that capacity until 1989 when she became the Secretary General until 1993.[7][9]

In 1982, Rajavi was transferred to Paris, where the political headquarters of the Mojahedin was located, the principal opposition movement at that time.[10]

In 2003, Rajavi's offices were raided by French police. She was placed under arrest and the assets of the NCRI were frozen by the French government. Rajavi's supporters protested her arrest by demonstration until her release. "[11]

Rajavi congratulated Zohreh Akhyani's election as the new Secretary General of the PMOI on 7 September 2011.[12]

The Supreme Court of the UK reiterated Rajavi's travel ban on 12 November 2014. Originally put in place in 1997, Rajavi is not excluded from any other European country and engages regularly with parliamentarians in the European Parliament.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d "Maryam". Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  2. ^ "Massoud Rajavi Biography". People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Who’ll topple Iran? US support for exiles in Paris". New York Post. 2013-06-24. Retrieved 5-8-2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  4. ^ Giuliani, Rudy (February 22, 2013). Iran: Prospects for Democratic Change, U.S. Policy Options (Speech). Panel Discussion. 
  5. ^ Shawn, Eric. "Iran resistance leader predicts regime change in exclusive Fox News interview". (Fox News). Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Smith, Craig S. (24 September 2005). "Exiled Iranians Try to Foment Revolution From France". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Maryam Rajavi". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran: Mission Report" (PDF). 
  9. ^ "A Brief on the Life of Maryam Rajavi". U.S. Foundation for Liberty. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "A Brief Biography of Maryam Rajavi". Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  11. ^ Graff, James (14 December 2006). "Iran's Armed Opposition Wins a Battle — In Court". Time Magazine. 
  12. ^ "Maryam Rajavi lauds election of the new Secretary General of the PMOI". NCR. 7 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "Parliamentarians lose Maryam Rajavi court battle". Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times. Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Deputy Leader of People's Mujahedin of Iran
Succeeded by
Fahimeh Arvani
Preceded by
Masoud Rajavi
Leader of People's Mujahedin of Iran
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Masoud Rajavi
President of National Council of Resistance
Succeeded by