Key Figures and Leaders

Featured Leadership

  • Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

    Islamic Republic of Iran Foreign Minister

    In August 2021, President Ebrahim Raisi proposed Hossein Amir-Abdollahian to serve as his Foreign Minister and he was ratified by the Islamic Consultative Assembly on August 25, 2021. Known in Western media as a hawkish diplomat, Amir-Abdollahian is close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and presents himself as the diplomatic face of the IRGC in the Middle East.

  • Javad Oji

    Islamic Republic of Iran Oil Minister

    In August 2021, President Ebrahim Raisi nominated Javad Oji as his Oil Minister, one of the most important posts in the Islamic Republic given the state’s reliance on the oil and gas industry.

  • Esmail Khatib

    Islamic Republic of Iran Minister of Intelligence

    In August 2021, the Islamic Consultative Assembly ratified President Ebrahim Raisi’s selection for Minister of Intelligence and Security, Esmail Khatib, a mid-ranking cleric who has attained the title of Hojjat ol-Eslam, which means “proof of Islam.”

  • Ahmad Vahidi

    Islamic Republic of Iran Minister of Interior

    In August 2021, the Islamic Consultative Assembly ratified the appointment of Ahmad Vahidi, former Defense Minister and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force commander, as  Interior Minister.

  • Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani

    Islamic Republic of Iran Minister of Defense

    In August 2021, the Islamic Consultative Assembly ratified President Ebrahim Raisi’s selection for Defense Minister, Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani. The Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) is responsible for the planning, logistics, and funding of the armed forces, and its General Staff, which directly answers to the Supreme Leader, exercises control over the forces.

  • Mohammad Eslami

    Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Director

    In August 2021, President Ebrahim Raisi appointed Mohammad Eslami to serve as Director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). Eslami has held leadership positions in military and defense, aviation and engineering, but lacks direct experience in the nuclear energy field.  

  • Shahram Irani

    Artesh Navy Commander

    In August 2021, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Admiral Shahram Irani as the Artesh Navy commander. The Artesh and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) constitute the bifurcated military system in the Islamic Republic.

  • Ali Baqeri-Kani

    Deputy Foreign Minister

    In September 2021, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian appointed Ali Baqeri-Kani as the director of the Foreign Ministry Political Directorate. His predecessor, Abbas Araqchi, directed the nuclear negotiations that resulted in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).  Baqeri-Kani previously served as a lead nuclear negotiator during Ahmadinejad administration in the late 2000s and early 2010s so is likely to perform a similar role.

  • Mojtaba Khamenei: The Supreme Leader’s Gatekeeper & Guardian

    Mojtaba Khamenei

    The Supreme Leader’s Gatekeeper & Guardian

    Mojtaba Khamenei has emerged as an enigmatic but powerful figure in the Iranian system. Mojtaba is the second-eldest son of Ali Khamenei. His power stems not only from his family connection but also from the role he plays in the Office of the Supreme Leader. Mojtaba occupies a similar role to that of Ahmad Khomeini during Ruhollah Khomeini’s supreme leadership—a combination of aide-de-camp, confidant, gatekeeper, and power broker. Mojtaba has become so influential in the Iranian establishment, that some analysts consider him to be a contender to succeed his father as supreme leader.

  • Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei

    The New Head of Iran’s Judiciary

    On July 1, 2021, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei, who has made a name for himself as a ruthless enforcer of the Islamic Republic with no regard for human rights, as the new head of the Judiciary branch. He succeeded Ebrahim Raisi after the latter was elected President of Iran.