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Ahmad Jannati
احمد جنتی
احمد جنتی.jpg
Chairman of the Assembly of Experts
Assumed office
24 May 2016
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
Preceded by Mohammad Yazdi
Member of Expediency Discernment Council
In office
17 March 1997 – 20 September 2022
Appointed by Ali Khamenei
Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Ali Movahedi-Kermani (acting)
Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Sadeq Larijani
Secretary of the Guardian Council
Assumed office
17 July 1992
Appointed by Ali Khamenei
Preceded by Mohammad Mohammadi Gilani
Tehran's Temporary Friday Prayer Imam
In office
3 April 1992 – 11 March 2018
Appointed by Ali Khamenei
Member of the Assembly of Experts
Assumed office
23 February 1999
Constituency Tehran Province
Majority 1,321,130 (29.35%)
In office
15 August 1983 – 22 February 1999
Constituency Khuzestan Province
Member of the Guardian Council
Assumed office
20 February 1980
Appointed by Ruhollah Khomeini
Ali Khamenei
Personal details
Born (1927-02-23) 23 February 1927 (age 97)
Isfahan, Imperial State of Persia
Political party Combatant Clergy Association
Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom
Spouses First spouse (divorced)
Sediqeh Mazaheri (1947–2015; her death)
Third spouse (2017–2023)
Children 4, including Ali
Residences Tehran, Iran
Profession Politician, cleric

Ahmad Jannati (born 23 February 1927) is an Iranian conservative politician. He was born in Ladan, Isfahan. Jannati is known for his anti-LGBT rhetoric and opposition to secularism. He is also a founding member of the Haghani, school of thought.

Today, Jannati occupies two prominent posts in Iranian politics as chairman of the Assembly of Experts, the body charged with choosing the Supreme Leader, and as chairman of the Guardian Council, the body in charge of checking legislation approved by Majlis with the Constitution and sharia, and approving the candidates in various elections.


Jannati has been a member of the Guardian Council since 1980 and has been its chair since 1988. In 2016, he became the chairman of the Assembly of Experts, the body in charge of appointing the Supreme Leader. He was reappointed to the earlier post in 2022.


During a Friday Prayer on 4 August 2006, Jannati asserted that "support for Hezbollah" was "a duty." Regarding Iraq, around the time its draft constitution was presented to parliament in 2005, he said: "Fortunately, after years of effort and expectations in Iraq, an Islamic state has come to power and the constitution has been established on the basis of Islamic precepts".

On election protest

In a Friday prayer sermon on 29 January 2010 in Tehran, Jannati "praised Iranian judicial authorities for executing two political dissidents" the day before and "urged officials to continue executing dissidents until opposition protests come to an end."

Jannati sees leniency with the dissidents as un-Islamic.

On the United States

In a 1 June 2007 speech aired on Iranian TV Channel 1 (as translated by MEMRI), Jannati stated:

In April 2008, he stated, "You cried: `Death to the Shah,` and indeed, he died. You cried: `Death to Israel,` and it is now on its deathbed. You cry: `Death to America,` and before long, Allah willing, the prayer for the dead will be recited over it."

On 17 September 2010, Jannati "described the recent desecration of the holy Quran in the United States [as] an insane behavior," apparently referring to the 2010 Qur'an-burning controversy. In the same Friday Prayer, he reportedly claimed that "opinion polls reveal[ed] that 84 percent of the Americans consider the US administration responsible for 9/11 attacks." The Ayatollah's comments about Americans' opinions about 9/11 were cited by analysts after President Ahmadinejad made similar comments, amongst others, the next week at the United Nations. The president's speech sparked at least 33 delegations to walk out from the General Assembly, and ensuing criticism.

In a sermon in Tehran, which was broadcast on Iran's Channel 1 on 21 February 2014 (as translated by MEMRI), Jannati told a crowd that "If we, the people, are against America, you [Iranian leaders] must oppose it too" and that "Death to America" was "the first option on our table...This is the slogan of our entire people without exception. This is our number one slogan."

On hijab

Jannati takes a strong stand in favor of compulsory hijab, or covering for women. In June 2010, he spoke out against Iranian President Ahmadinejad for his alleged laxness on compulsory hijab in Iran. ....."


In February 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Jannati for "preventing free and fair elections in Iran."

Personal life

Jannati's wife was Sediqeh Mazaheri, with whom he had four sons. She died in 2015, and he later remarried. His son Hossein Jannati was a member of People's Mujahedin of Iran and was killed in a street battle by the Islamic Republic security forces in 1981. He is also the father of Ali Jannati, who served as Minister of Culture.

See also

  • List of ayatollahs
  • Khamenei
  • Ahmad Khatami
  • Emami-Kashani
  • Aboutorabi Fard
  • Movahedi-Kermani
  • Haj Ali Akbari
  • Friday prayer
  • List of members in the First Term of the Council of Experts
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