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Ali Akbar Velayati

Ali Akbar Velayati
President of Expediency Discernment Council's Center for Strategic Research
Assumed office
30 October 2013
Preceded by Hassan Rouhani
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
15 December 1981 – 20 August 1997
President Ali Khamenei
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Preceded by Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Succeeded by Kamal Kharazi
Member of Parliament of Iran
In office
3 May 1980 – 15 December 1981
Constituency Tehran
Personal details
Born (1945-06-24) 24 June 1945
Tehran, Iran
Political party Islamic Coalition Party
Other political
National Front (1961–1970s)
Islamic Republican Party (1979–1987)
Spouse(s) Shirin Khoshnevisan (1980–2003, her death)
Children 6
Alma mater University of Tehran
Johns Hopkins University
Website Official website

Ali Akbar Velayati     (علی‌اکبر ولایتی; born 24 June 1945) is an Iranian Conservative politician, academic and diplomat. He was the Minister of Foreign Affairs for more than sixteen years from 1981 to 1997 under Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Presidents Ali Khamenei and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. He is the first and only person that have held this position for more than ten years. He is currently head of Center for Strategic Research. He was a candidate in 2013 presidential election and lost, coming fifth out of the six candidates garnering 2,268,753 votes, which was 6.18% of the votes.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
    • AMIA Terrorist Attack 2.1
    • Later years 2.2
  • Presidential campaigns 3
    • 2005 presidential election 3.1
    • 2013 presidential election 3.2
  • Works 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life and education

Velayati was born in Rostamabad village in Shemiran, Tehran, on 24 June 1945.[1][2] He was matriculated into Tehran University of medical sciences in 1964. Velayati finished his studies in pediatrics before moving to Johns Hopkins University for a fellowship in infectious diseases.[3] In the meantime, Velayati taught at university and is an active member of such influential bodies as the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, Expediency Council and Islamic Encyclopedia Foundation. During the rule of Mohammad Reza Shah, Velayati was arrested by the intelligence service SAVAK when he was 17.[3]


In 1961, Velayeti joined the National Front, a secular party.[1] Following the Iranian Revolution in 1979, he was elected as a member of the parliament from his home town in parliamentary election of that year. He was also a deputy minister of health from November 1980 to July 1981 in the cabinet of Mohammad-Ali Rajai.[3]

After winning the presidential election on 13 October 1981, then President Ali Khamenei proposed Velayati as his prime minister to the Parliament of Iran, but Parliament voted against him on 22 October. Khamenei later proposed Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who gained Parliament's approval. In November 1986, Velayati argued that Iran should have diplomatic ties with all countries.[4]

During the premiership of Mousavi, Velayati served as the minister of foreign affairs. After the election of Hashemi Rafsanjani as president, he retained his post until 1997, when Rafsanjani's term was ended.[1] He has been an advisor on international affairs to the Supreme Leader of Iran since 1997.[5][6]

AMIA Terrorist Attack

In November 2006, Argentine Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corra issued international arrest warrants for Velayati, six other Iranians and one Lebanese in connection with the AMIA Terror attack in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which resulted in the death of 85 people and serious injuries to 151.[7] The attack on the Jewish Cultural Center came two years after the 1992 terrorist bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. Velayati has been on the official Wanted list of Interpol since March 2007, for allegations of "Aggravated Murder and Damages" related to the 1994 AMIA bombing case.[8][9][10] The arrest warrant is based on the allegation that senior Iranian officials planned the attack in an August 1993 meeting, including Khamanei, the Supreme Leader, Mohammad Hejazi, Khamanei's intelligence and security advisor, Rafsanjani, then president, Ali Fallahian, then intelligence minister, and Velayati, then foreign minister.[11]

Later years

Velayeti was appointed to the Strategic Council on foreign relations in 2006. He appears to be close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, serving as his advisor on international affairs and writing the introduction to Khamenei's book Palestine. He attended funeral service of Imad Mughniyah, who had been killed on 12 February 2008, representing Khamenei on 14 February in Lebanon.[12]

Velayati, a hardliner, who described Iran as the "backbone" of the Adolf Hitler in 2002, and said efforts by reformist president Mohammad Khatami to draw closer to the US had proven that Washington had not changed its stance since 1979.

On 30 October 2013, Velayati becomes head of Center for Strategic Research, being appointed by Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.[13] He is succeeded Hassan Rouhani.

Presidential campaigns

2005 presidential election

Velayati was under consideration by the conservative alliance of Iran as a possible candidate for 2005 presidential election, but he announced that he did not accept candidacy of the conservative alliance and would run as an Independent. He finally decided not to run. It was speculated that he did not want to run against Rafsanjani.

2013 presidential election

He announced his nomination for the 2013 presidential election and is supported by some conservative groups. He promised a strong external relationships with community reconciliation and more relations with Europe and the United States. He also criticized President Ahmadinejad's foreign policy.[14] He received 2,268,753 of the votes, comes on the fifth place.


Velayati has had a large number of books and academic works published, including:[3]

  • Dynamism of Islamic and Iranian Culture and Civilization
  • Iran and the Question of Palestine
  • Iran and the Developments of Palestine
  • Historical Crisis of Iranian Identity
  • Intellectual Prelude to Constitutional Movement
  • History of Iran Foreign Relations under Shah Abbas Safavid I
  • History of Iran Foreign Relations under Shah Ismail Safavid II
  • Political History of the Iraqi Imposed War Against the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • History of Iran Foreign Relations under Nasser addin Shah and Mozaffar addin Shah
  • Tuberculosis
  • Infectious Diseases


  1. ^ a b c "Candidate Profile: Ali Akbar Velayati". Asharq Alawsat. 11 June 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ali Akbar Velayati". IRDiplomacy. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Ali Akbar Velayati profile". PressTV. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Hunter, Shireen T. (Spring 1987). "After the Ayatollah". Foreign Policy 66: 77–97. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Majd, Hooman. The Ayatollah Begs to Differ. Doubleday. 2008. 224.
  6. ^ A. Ehteshami (2002). "The foreign policy of Iran". In Lynne Rienner. The foreign policies of Middle East states (PDF). Boulder, Co. pp. 283–290. 
  7. ^ Stephens, Brett, "Iran's al Qaeda", Stephens' "Global View" column, editorial pages, The Wall Street Journal, 16 October 2007; p. A20
  8. ^ Wanted profile on Interpol website
  9. ^ Interpol press release
  10. ^ "Argentina: More international arrest warrants issued for 1994 Jewish center bombimg". South American Political and Economic Affairs. 16 November 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  11. ^ Barsky, Yehudit (May 2003). "Hizballah" (Terrorism Briefing). The American Jewish Committee. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  12. ^ Chalhoub, Elie (14 February 2012). "Imad Mughniyeh in Iran: The Stuff of Legends". Al Akhbar. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  13. ^ ولایتی جایگزین روحانی شد
  14. ^ Candidates profile Al Jazeera, 21 May 2013

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Kamal Kharazi
Academic offices
Preceded by
Hassan Rouhani
President of Center for Strategic Research
Succeeded by
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