Ahmad Jannati

Ahmad Jannati
احمد جنتی

Jannati in 2016
Chairman of the Assembly of Experts
Assumed office
24 May 2016
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
Preceded by Mohammad Yazdi
Chairman of the Guardian Council
Assumed office
17 July 1992[1]
Appointed by Ali Khamenei
Preceded by Mohammad Mohammadi Gilani
Tehran's Temporary Friday Prayer Imam
Assumed office
3 April 1992[2]
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[3]  22 February 1999
Constituency Khuzestan Province
Member of the Guardian Council
Assumed office
20 February 1980[4]
Appointed by Ruhollah Khomeini
Personal details
Born (1927-02-22) February 22, 1927
Isfahan, Persia
Political party Combatant Clergy Association
Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom[5]
Spouse(s) Fatemeh Mazaheri (1947–2015, her death)
Children Ali (b. 1949)
Mohammad Hossein (b. 1952–d. 1981)
Residence Tehran, Iran
Profession Politician
Religion Twelver Shia Islam

Ahmad Jannati (Persian: احمد جنتی) is a hardline Iranian politician, Shi'i cleric and a founding member of Haghani school. He is the conservative chairman of the Assembly of Experts, the body charged with choosing the Supreme Leader; and also chairman of the Guardian Council,[6] the body in charge of checking legislation approved by Majlis with the Constitution and sharia, and approving the candidates in various elections. He is also a temporary Friday prayer imam of Tehran. 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.[7][8] He is also father of Ali Jannati, who served as Minister of Culture.


Jannati has been a member of the Guardian Council since 1980 and has been its chair since 1988.[9] Ahmad Jannati wields considerable influence because he simultaneously holds seats in the Guardian Council, Expediency Discernment Council, and Assembly of Experts. Jannati is co-founder of Haghani School, one of the most influential religious schools in Iran, and had an influence on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.



Jannati is considered close to the Iranian Islamic conservatives, and is heavily criticized by the reformists for his active role in not approving reformist candidates to run in various elections as well as blocking reformist legislation. During a Friday Prayer on 4 August 2006, Jannati asserted that "support for Hizbollah" was "a duty."[10]

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".[11]

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."[12]

Jannati sees leniency with the dissidents as un-Islamic.

"God ordered the prophet Muhammad to brutally slay hypocrites and ill-intentioned people who stuck to their convictions. Koran insistently orders such deaths. May God not forgive anyone showing leniency toward the corrupt on Earth."[13]

Responding to radical clerics such Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati wanting to speed up executions, Iran's judiciary chief firmly stated his opposition, commenting that it was against the Sharia and Iranian law:[14]

"Political assumptions should not influence judicial investigations because we won't have a response before God should an innocent person be punished due to hasty action."

On the United States

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

People are increasingly inclined towards the Koran, towards Islam, towards the Islamic Revolution and the Imam [Khomeini]. Just like this movement destroyed the monarchical regime here, it will definitely destroy the arrogant rule of hegemony of America, Israel, and their allies... At the end of the day, we are an anti-American regime. America is our enemy, and we are the enemies of America. The hostility between us is not a personal matter. It is a matter of principle. We are in disagreement over the very principles that underlie our revolution and our Islam.[15]

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."[16]

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."[17] 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.[18]

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."[19]

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. After Ahmadinejad proposed a "cultural campaign" to combat loose hijab rather than a police crackdown, Jannati responded, "Drug traffickers are hanged, terrorists are executed and robbers are punished for their crimes, but when it comes to the law of God, which is above human rights," some individuals "stay put and speak about cultural programs."[20]

Public image

According to a poll conducted in March 2016 by Information and Public Opinion Solutions LLC (iPOS) among Iranian citizens, Jannati has 21% approval and 31% disapproval ratings and thus a –10% net popularity while 36% of Iranian people don't know him.[21] Jannati has become a target of ageist stereotyping jokes in Iran.[22]

Death rumors

On 5 September 2010, rumors surfaced indicating that Jannati had gone into a coma following a brain aneurysm.[23] However, an official statement from the Guardian Council spokesperson said the rumors were untrue and Jannati was in perfect health.[24]

See also


  1. "اعتراف جنتی: سرکوب کردیم، نابود نشدند" (in Persian). Rooz Online. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  2. "ائمه جمعه تهران؛ از حضوری ۳ هفته‌ای تا ۴۲۴ حضور" (in Persian). Fars News Agency. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  3. "1982 Assembly of Experts Election", The Iran Social Science Data Portal, Princeton University, retrieved 10 August 2015
  4. "همه چیز درباره آیت الله احمد جنتی" (in Persian). Iranian Students' News Agency. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  5. "سايت اطلاع رساني شوراي نگهبان/آيت الله احمد جنتي" (in Persian). Guardian Council.
  6. Iranian cleric says UK embassy staff face trial 3 July 2009
  7. "سایت ایران دیدبان-خاطرات عزت شاهی (12)". Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  8. "gooya news :: politics : نامه محسن مخملباف به مصطفی تاج‌زاده (درباره جنتی)". Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  9. Islamic Republic of Iran Crimes
  10. "Major cleric says support for Hizbollah a duty". Archived from the original on 20 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-13., Islamic Republic News Agency, 20 August 2006
  11. {{<!-Senior Iran cleric hails "Islamic state of Iraq" 26 August 2005->|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20110519054037/http://www.iranfocus.com/en/?option=com_content&task=view&id=3494 | archive-date=2011-05-19 | access-date=2016-05-15|dead-url=yes}}
  12. "Senior Iranian Pro-Government Cleric Urges More Executions of Regime Opponents". VOA. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  13. IRAN: Hard-line cleric likens protesters to defiant 'Jews,' urges 'quick executions' 29 January 2010
  14. Ali Akbar Dareini (1 February 2010). "Iran's judiciary chief refuses to speed executions". The Washington Post. Associated Press.
  15. Just Like We Destroyed the Regime of the Shah, We Will Destroy America and Israel, Secretary of the Iranian Guardian Council Ahmad Jannati, MEMRI - Clip No. 1484, 1 June 2007.
  16. "The Time for America's Death Has Come". Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-04., Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, Chairman of the Iranian Guardian Council - Clip No. 1753, 18 April 2008.
  17. "Cleric slams US over Quran desecration", Al-Alam News Network, 17 September 2010 12:41 GMT. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
  18. MacFarquhar, Neil, "U.S. Walks Out as Iran Leader Speaks", The New York Times, 23 September 2010 (24 September 2010 p. A12 NY ed.). Retrieved 24 September 2010.
  19. Ayatollah Jannati to Iran's Leaders: The People Do Not Support Your Efforts to Establish Ties with the U.S., MEMRITV, clip 4167 (transcript), 21 February 2014.
  20. Iranian clerics lash out on veiling, Los Angeles Times, 19 June 2010
  21. "ظریف محبوب‌ترین چهره سیاسی ایران". Information and Public Opinion Solutions LLC (in Persian). 24 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  22. Golnaz Esfandiari (25 January 2012). "Head of Iran's Guardians Council Now The Principal Butt Of Jokes". RFE/RL. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  23. http://planet-iran.com/index.php/news/23266
  24. "تکذيب خبر بستري شدن آيت الله جنتي". Retrieved 24 May 2016.

External links

Quotations related to Ahmad Jannati at Wikiquote

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ahmad Jannati.

Video clips

Political offices
Preceded by
Abolghasem Khazali
Chair of Guardian Council
Succeeded by

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