Saeed Jalili

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Saeed Jalili
Persian: سعید جلیلی‎‎
File:Saeed Jalili 2013b.jpg
Jalili before 2013 presidential election
Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council
In office
20 October 2007 – 10 September 2013
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Deputy Ali Bagheri
Preceded by Ali Larijani
Succeeded by Ali Shamkhani
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
24 August 2005 – 19 October 2007
Minister Manouchehr Mottaki
Preceded by Ahmad Nameni
Succeeded by Mohammad-Ali Hosseini
Personal details
Born (1965-09-01) 1 September 1965 (age 53)
Mashhad, Iran
Nationality Iranian
Political party Islamic Revolution Stability
Other political
Islamic Society of Engineers (1999–2012)
Spouse(s) Fatemeh Sajjadi (m. 1992)
Children Hamid (born 1994)
Residence Tehran, Iran
Alma mater Imam Sadegh University
Religion Twelver Shi'a Islam

Saeed Jalili (Persian: سعید جلیلی‎‎; born September 1965) is an Iranian conservative politician and diplomat who was secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 2007 to 2013. He was also Iran's nuclear negotiator. He was previously deputy foreign minister for European and American Affairs. Jalili was an unsuccessful candidate in the June 2013 presidential election, placing third.

Early life and education

Jalili was born on September 1965 in Mashhad in northeastern Iran.[1] He holds a PhD in political science from Imam Sadeq University and his doctoral thesis is entitled "The Foreign Policy of the Prophet Muhammad."[1] After graduating, he served in the Iran–Iraq war as a member of the Basij volunteers of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution.[1][2] During fighting he was injured severely, losing the lower portion of his right leg in 1986.[3][4] Upon this event he earned the title of "living martyr".[5]


Following the war, Jalili began working as a university lecturer at his alma mater. In 1989 Jalili began working at the ministry of foreign affairs in addition to his teaching post.[2] From 1995 to 1996 he served as director of the inspection office at the ministry.[6] In 2001, he was appointed senior director of policy planning in the office of supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.[2] Jalili was also made a member of the Supreme National Security Council in 2002. Following the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the presidency in August 2005, Jalili was appointed deputy foreign minister for European and American affairs.[6] He was in office until October 2007.[7] During the same period he also served as an advisor to Ahmedinejad.[8]

On 20 October 2007, Jalili replaced Ali Larijani as secretary of the council and became responsible for international negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.[7][9] Jalili's term as secretary of the council ended on 10 September 2013 when Ali Shamkhani was appointed to the post.[10] Immediately after leaving the office, he was appointed by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to the Expediency Council as a member.[11]

Views and activities

Jalili is a leading figure of the "neo-principalist" group in the Iranian political scene and a protégé of Mojtaba Khamenei.[8][12] A United States State Department cable released by WikiLeaks in 2008 described how a European Union official who met Jalili call him 'a true product of the Iranian revolution'." Mohammad Marandi, a professor at Tehran University, described Jalili as a tough negotiator who "believes strongly in Iran's nuclear program and its sovereign rights. He's not the sort of person to give major concessions."[13]

In an interview with The Boston Globe in 2006, Jalili defended Iran's plans to develop nuclear energy, noting that, under the Shah and before the Islamic Revolution, US companies had contracts to build nuclear power plants in Iran. In 2013, Jalili stated that the 120 member states of the Non-Aligned Movement have repeatedly expressed support for Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear energy program.[14]

2013 presidential candidacy

File:Jalili registering in the 2013 Presidential Election.jpg
Saeed Jalili registered his candidacy in 2013 Iranian presidential election

Jalili was a candidate in the 2013 presidential elections, announcing his candidacy on 22 March 2013.[15] He was supported by Front of Islamic Revolution Stability and also by Kamran Bagheri Lankarani, the party's main candidate who declined his candidacy in favor of Jalili. He fared poorly in the presidential election, placing 3rd, despite speculations that he was the favorite candidate of the Supreme Leader. He received 4,168,946 and was ranked third, behind president-elect Hassan Rouhani and runner up Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf.

Electoral history

Year Election Votes  % Rank Notes
2004 Parliament Lost
2008 Parliament Lost
2013 President 4,168,946 11.31 3rd Lost

Personal life

Jalili is fluent in English, and Arabic.[4] He married Fatemeh Sajjadi, a doctor of internal medicine, in 1992. They have one child, a son named Hamid. Jalili was a resident of Karaj until 2004. He is known for his simple living and aversion towards formality. He drives his own car to work.[16]

Books and Bibliography

  • Foreign Policy of the Prophet of Islam (Persian: سیاست خارجی پیامبر اسلام‎‎)
  • Islamic Thought in Quran (Persian: اندیشه اسلامی در قرآن‎‎)


In 2009, Jalili was regarded as one of the 500 most influential Muslims by Georgetown University's center for Muslim-Christian understanding.[17]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Saeed Jalili PressTV, 22 May 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Vatanka, Alex (21 September 2012). "Khamenei and Iran's 2013 elections". Middle East Institute. Retrieved 18 February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Anti-West Hard-Liner Gains in Iranian Race Thomas Erdbrink, New York Times, 28 May 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Biographies of Eight Qualified Candidates for Iran Presidential Election". Iran Review. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Garrett Nada; Helia Ighani (11 June 2013). "Old War Haunts New Election". United State Institute of Peace. Retrieved 28 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Iran's approved presidential candidates". CBS News. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Iran's Top Nuclear Negotiator Ali Larijani Resigns". Fox News. AP. 20 October 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 Frederic Wehrey; Jerrold D. Green; Brian Nichiporuk; Alireza Nader; Lydia Hansell; Rasool Nafisi; S. R. Bohandy (2009). "The Rise of the Pasdaran" (PDF). RAND Corporation. Retrieved 20 August 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Posch, Walter (November 2007). "Only personal? The Larijani Crisis Revisited" (PDF). Policy Brief (3). Retrieved 17 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Rouhani Appointed Former Defense Minister as the Secretary of NSC". Nasim Online. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Jalili appointed to the Expediency Council". Iran Daily Brief. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Sabet, Farzan (June 2013). "The Islamic Republic's political elite and Syria" (Special Report). IranPolitik. Retrieved 30 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Iran's negotiator – rigid ideologue close to Khamenei Marcus George, Reuters, 25 February 2013
  14. Jalili: Iran’s successful resistance against foes due to culture, diplomacy Press TV, 5 June 2013
  15. "Potential Candidates". Iran Election Watch. Retrieved 20 February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Biography: Jalili Parssea
  17. "The 500 Most Influential Muslims" (PDF). Center of Muslim-Christian Understanding. 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Ahmad Nameni
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Mohammad-Ali Hosseini
Preceded by
Ali Larijani
Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council
Succeeded by
Ali Shamkhani