Key Figures and Leaders

Featured Leadership

  • Major General Mohammad Bagheri

    Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces

    Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri is the chief of staff of Iran’s Armed Forces. The chief of staff is considered the highest ranking military officer in the Islamic Republic and is responsible for the coordination and supervision of Iran’s regular army (Artesh) and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

  • 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.

  • Mohammad Hejazi

    Former Deputy Commander of the IRGC's Quds Force

    Following the death of Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. airstrike, his deputy Esmail Qaani was appointed to command Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force (IRGC-QF). Two weeks later, Brigadier General Mohammad Hejazi - a shadowy officer with a storied career in the IRGC - became Qaani’s vice-commander. Following his appointment, sources claimed that Hejazi would assume much of the Quds Force field command responsibilities.

  • Mohammad Moghiseh

    The Iranian Supreme Court’s New Hanging Judge

    Mohammad Moghiseh is an Iranian judge infamous for violating defendants’ human rights and sentencing them to death or long prison terms on trumped-up charges.

  • Mohammad Reza Fallahzadeh

    Deputy Commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force

    Mohammad Reza Fallahzadeh’s career has straddled both the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran’s government as a provincial governor. His service in the Quds Force has included battlefield experience in Syria, and eventually he rose to the level of deputy commander. 

  • Brigadier General Esmail Qaani

    Commander of the IRGC's Quds Force

    On January 3, 2020, the United States assassinated Major General Qasem Soleimani, who commanded the Quds Force (QF), the external operations branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). That same day, Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, Soleimani’s longtime deputy, was named the QF’s new chief by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

  • 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.

  • Sadegh Amoli Larijani

    Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council

    Sadegh Larijani’s career in Iranian politics includes a decade as head of the judiciary (2009-2019); multiple election victories for the Assembly of Experts; membership on the Guardian Council, which ended abruptly in 2021; and his current chairmanship of the Expediency Council. Given his extensive knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence and administrative experience, he had been viewed by observers as a possible successor to the supreme leader of Iran. However, corruption allegations following the end of his career in the judiciary and the marginalization of the Larijani dynasty in Iranian politics have reduced his standing.

  • Mohammad Kawtharani

    Lebanese Hezbollah's Representative in Iraq

    Mohammad Hussein Kawtharani is Lebanese Hezbollah’s representative in Iraq. Kawtharani assumed greater responsibility in overseeing Iraq’s Shia militias since the death of former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani. The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Kawtharani in 2013, describing him as the “individual in charge of Hizballah’s activities in Iraq.”

  • 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.