Sadeq Larijani

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Sadeq Larijani
Amoli Larijani.jpg
Chief Justice of Iran
Assumed office
15 August 2009
Appointed by Ali Khamenei
Preceded by Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Member of Assembly of Experts
Assumed office
15 December 1998
Constituency Mazandaran
Personal details
Born (1961-03-12) 12 March 1961 (age 57)
Najaf, Iraq
Nationality Iranian
Political party Independent
Other political
Combatant Clergy Association (until 2009)
Religion Shia Islam

Sadeq Ardeshir Amoli Larijani (Persian: صادق اردشیر آملی لاریجانی; born 12 March 1961, Najaf, Iraq) is an Iranian cleric, politician and the current and fifth head of the judicial system of Iran after the 1979 revolution.

Early life and education

Larijani is the son of Ayatollah Hashem Amoli. His father was an ayatollah that worked in Najaf after being exiled by Mohammad Reza Shah. They moved to Iran after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Larijani is also a brother of Ali Larijani (Speaker of the Majlis), Mohammad Javad Larijani, Bagher Larijani (Chancellor of Tehran University of Medical Sciences), and Fazel Larijani (Iran's former cultural attachée in Ottawa).[1][2][3]

He is fluent in Persian, Arabic, and English.


Larijani served as one of the 12 members of the Guardian Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran for eight years.[4] Described as "relatively junior"[4] or "inexperienced cleric" with "close ties to Iran's military and intelligence agencies",[5] he was appointed head of the judicial system of Iran by supreme leader Ali Khamenei on 15 August 2009.[6]

According to leading Iranian human rights defense lawyer[7] Mohammad Seifzadeh, the head of the Judicial System of Iran is required to be a Mojtahed with significant experience in the field. Larijani, however, was neither an experienced jurist nor a highly ranked cleric and carried the title of "Hojjat-ol Eslam" up to a few months before his appointment to the post.[8]


Mir-Hossein Mousavi & Zahra Rahnavard visited arrested reformist Javad Emam's family

Shortly after his appointment, Larijani appointed Saeed Mortazavi to the post of deputy prosecutor general of Iran. Mortazavi was prosecutor general of Tehran for more than seven years during which he was involved in murdering and torturing a number of Iranian civilians and activists. One of the high-profile deaths attributed to Mortazavi is that of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. On 7 September 2009, Iranian police with permission from judiciary system and Tehran General Court entered the office for support of political prisoners and seized all the documents, computers among others. The police refused to give a receipt of the items. The office was organized by Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi for supporting the victims of torture in Iranian prisons.[9] On 8 September 2009, Iranian Judiciary, unexpectedly closed and sealed the office of National Confidence Party and arrested Morteza Alviri and Alireza Beheshti and several of the closest allies of opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi.[10][11] That same month, the authorities from the Judiciary System began targeting the children of leaders of the opposition groups. For instance, Atefeh Emam, the daughter of jailed activist Javad Emam, the Chief of Staff of Mousavi's campaign, was arrested on 9 September 2009, held in a secret facility and tortured to pressure her to make a "confession" implicating her father. The Judiciary released her after twenty-four hours in the South of Tehran in an inappropriate condition.[12]


Sadegh Larijani stated that the government does not derive its legitimacy from the votes of the nation.[13] He is a well-known critic of ex-president Mohammad Khatami and his reforms. In March 1998 an article by him attacking Khatami's call for a civil Islamic society and Abdolkarim Soroush's philosophy was published in Sobh newspaper.[14]

Larijani proclaimed:

"We support a society which is based on the spirit of Islam and religious faith, in which Islamic and religious values are propagated, in which every Koranic injunction and the teachings of the Prophet of Islam and the Imams are implemented. It will be a society in which the feeling of servitude to God Almighty will be manifest everywhere, and in which people will not demand their rights from God but are conscious of their obligations to God." [15]

He also criticizes the views of people — such as Abdolkarim Soroush — who says that while there is a society, or civilization, of Muslims, there is no such thing as an Islamic society or civilization, and that Islam is a spiritual and individual way of life, not an ideology.[16]

Larijani condemned protesters and those who expressed doubts in the 2009 presidential election results, calling the protests "illegal" and any doubts "baseless".[17]


On 23 May 2012, Larijani was put into the sanction list of the European Union, which was published in the Official Journal of the Union.[18] In the journal, it was stated that as head of the judiciary in Iran, he endorsed and allowed harsh punishments for retribution crimes, crimes against God, and crimes against the state.[18][19]

Personal life

Larijani is son-in-law of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Vahid Khorasani, who was one of his teachers in Qom.[2]


  1. Erdbrink, Thomas (5 February 2013). "High-Level Feud Bares Tensions in Iran". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sahimi, Mohammad (20 August 2009). "Nepotism & the Larijani Dynasty". PBS. Los Angeles. Retrieved 11 February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Iran's president defies supreme leader to safeguard his future". Al Arabiya. 10 February 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Will Iran's 'Kennedys' Challenge Ahmadinejad? By Robin Wright. 17 August 2009
  5. Militarization of the Iranian Judiciary By Mehdi Khalaji, 13 August 2009
  6. Sadeq Larijani to replace Shahroudi as judiciary chief: sources
  7. "Authorities continue to arrest human rights lawyers - IFEX". IFEX.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "This website is currently unavailable".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "حمله به دفتر کمیته پیگیری بازداشت‌شدگان ستاد موسوی". DW.COM.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "BBC فارسی - ايران - دفتر کروبی و دفتر حزب اعتماد ملی مهر و موم شد".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "علیرضا بهشتى، مشاور مير حسين موسوى بازداشت شد". رادیو فردا.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Unforgivable Crimes in Iran: The Under-Reporting of Deaths". 7 September 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Iran Briefing September 2006 Issue". Archived from the original on 30 July 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Sobh newspaper, No 80, Farvardin 1377 (March 1998), p 44.
  15. Islam and Human Rights, Farhang Jahanpour Journal of Globalization for the Common Good
  16. Islam and Human Rights, Farhang Jahanpour
  17. "رئيس قوه قضائيه در جلسه مسئولين عالي قضائي: عده‌اي تلاش كردند با ادعاي واهي تقلب در انتخابات از مدار قانون بگريزند".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Sadegh Larijani". Foundation of Defense for Democracies. Retrieved 11 February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Council decision 2012/168/CFSP". Official Journal of the European Union. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Legal offices
Preceded by
Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Chief Justice of Iran
Succeeded by