Raisi Appoints Khamenei Loyalist To Intelligence Ministry

(New York, N.Y.) — Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has added to his hardline conservative Cabinet in selecting Esmail Khatib to serve as his Minister of Intelligence and Security. The intelligence ministry post is a negotiation, at best, between the Presidency and the Office of the Supreme Leader. Khatib is a former student of Khamenei and previously served in the Office of Supreme Leader Protection Organization which directs facility and personnel protection for Khamenei’s inner circle. His appointment is indicative of their close relationship.

In its newly published profile, Esmail Khatib: Islamic Republic of Iran Minister of Intelligence, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) explores Khatib’s career, connections to the IRGC, and what can be expected of him as Minister of Intelligence. Unlike his predecessor Mahmoud Alavi, Khatib has actual experience in the ministry, having held senior positions in the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Judiciary branch’s counter-intelligence department.

The MOIS has played a leading role in monitoring and repressing dissidents at home, as well as on foreign soil. As the latest example, the U.S. Treasury this month designated four MOIS operatives who “targeted a U.S. citizen in the United States and Iranian dissidents in other countries as part of a wide-ranging campaign to silence critics of the Iranian government.” 

Recently, Khatib detailed his top priorities in a briefing to the regime’s National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Committee. He pledged to “strengthen and activate hidden diplomacy for effective intelligence exchange, increase the system’s strategic depth and influence with allied countries inside and outside the region, and support Islamic movements, Hezbollah, and cooperate with the Islamic [Revolutionary] Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force to strengthen the Resistance Front (the alliance of state and non-state actors led by Tehran).” Khatib also vowed to confront “the infiltrating movement in the government especially the country’s sensitive and vital centers and sites.” 

To read UANI’s resource, Esmail Khatib: Islamic Republic of Iran Minister of Intelligence, please click here. 

To read UANI’s resource, Iran’s Malign Intelligence Activities, please click here.