Navid Zarrinnal provides a round up of the new Iranian cabinet.
On Thursday, August 1, 2013, a number of Iranian press outlets, including Tadbir International News Agency 1, released President-elect Hassan Rouhani’s final cabinet list. Rouhani took office as president on August 3, 2013.
What follows is the list of appointments. The name of the appointee is followed by the post or ministry to which he or she is appointed. The political orientation — reformist, moderate, or principlist — of the appointee, if known, is also identified.
Sayyid Mohammad ‘Alavi — Intelligence Ministry
‘Alavi studied at a seminary, but also holds a doctorate in Islamic jurisprudence from Ferdowsi University in Mashhad. He began his political career soon after the 1979 revolution. ‘Alavi served as a representative to the parliament and was active on a number of parliamentary commissions. He was also a Tehran representative to the Assembly of Experts — a political body responsible for electing and removing the Supreme Leader.
Timur Ali Asgari — Parliamentary Assistant
Asgari, a cleric and a representative to the parliament, was also a parliamentary adviser to the prestigious Center for Strategic Research, a governmental research center aimed at formulating policy for the Islamic Republic of Iran on international, political, economic, legal, cultural, and social subjects. Upon Rouhani’s decision to run for presidency, Asgari gave a number of press interviews on the candidate’s reasons and motivations for seeking a presidential term.
Reza Salehi Amiri — Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization
Amiri holds a doctorate in public management. He has worked on cultural issues with the Center for Strategic Research. While Rouahni was running for presidency, Amiri served as cultural assistant to the presidential hopeful.
Abbas Akhundi — Ministry of Housing
He holds a masters in civil engineering from the University of Tehran, and a doctorate in political economy from Royal Holloway, University of London. Akhundi has served in a number of political, developmental, and educational institutions throughout his career. He served in the now defunct Ministry of Housing and Development under the presidency of Mohammad Hashimi Rafasanji (1989-1997), and was a council member at the Ministry of Jihad-e Construction, which was instituted to provide water, roads, and other amenities for rural populations. Akhundi was also a member of the Expediency Discernment Council. He was also active in the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) where he supervised a number of military fronts.
Hamid Cheat Chiyan — Ministry of Energy
From Tabriz, a city in Northwest Iran, Cheat Chiyan holds a number of degrees in the fields of engineering and management. He served in military and civilian posts in the past, in particular on issues pertaining to electricity and energy, including his advisership to a previous minister for the Ministry of Energy.
Parvin Dadandish — Adviser on Women’s Affairs
Dadandish is the only woman appointed to President Rouahni’s cabinet. She has expressed high hopes that Rouhani’s presidency will improve the well-being of women in the country.
Hussein Dehghan — Ministry of Defense
He has a doctorate in management from University of Tehran, and has supervised the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps during the Iran-Iraq War.
Mohammad Faroozandeh — Secretary to the Supreme National Security Council
Before being appointed as Rouhani’s secretary to the Supreme National Security Council, which, based on the 1989 revised Iranian Constitution determines national security policies among other responsibilities, Faroozandeh was the minister for the Ministry of Defense under President Rafsanjani.
Abdulreza Fazli — Ministry of Interior
Fazli holds an advanced degree in political geography. He served as president to Economic Cooperation Organization—a West Asian intergovernmental entity that provides a platform for discussions on development, trade, and investments. He had a high post with The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union as well, which is an international, non-profit, and professional association of broadcasting organisations. Fazli is also a professor of geography at Shahid Beheshti University.
Sayyid Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi — Ministry of Health
He is an optometrist by profession. Throughout his career, Hashemi has worked with a number of professional and governmental institutions whose primary focus is on human health, and more specifically, on optometry.
Mahmoud Hojjati — Ministry of Jihad-e Agriculture
After obtaining his bachelors in civil engineering, he served under the Ministry of Jihad-e Construction. He also became a governor to the Sistan and Baluchestan province (southeast Iran and next to Pakistan), and, after that, served under President Khatami (1997-2005).
Ali Jannati — Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance
Ali Jannati, son of Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, became the governor of Khuzestan province (southwest Iran and next to Iraq) and Khurasan province (east and northeast Iran near Afghanistan) after the revolution. He was also an Iranian representative to the Gulf state of Kuwait, where he had fled before the 1979 revolution for his political activities against the Shah.
Ishaq Jahangiri — Principal Assistant
Jahangiri was a founder of the Executives of Construction Party, a political party that supports former President, Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani, and his policies. During Khatami’s presidency, Jahangiri served as minister to the Chamber of Industries and Mines, which later merged with the Ministry of Commerce to form the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Business.
Jaffer Monfared — Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology
Dr. Monfared is a professor at Amir Kabir University of Technology. He has studied engineering in both Iran and France, and has significant prior experience serving the ministry to which he is appointed and number of related institutions.
Mohammad Mehdi Ahmadi Miyanji — Minister of Judiciary
A cleric, Miyanji was active in the revolutionary movement against the Shah, which, led to his arrest and torture. Previously, he has served as assistant to a minister of the judiciary.
Ali Niyaa — Ministry of Economy
Niyaa has studied economics in both Iran and England, and currently works at the University of Tehran’s Department of Economics. He is well-known among economists in Iran, although he has not worked in the prestigious Economic Department at the Center for Strategic Research.
Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri — Principal Adviser
Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri, a cleric, is currently the head of the Supreme Leader’s Bureau of Investigation. He is also a member of the Expediency Discernment Council—a political body that was initially formed to resolve conflicts between the the parliament and Council of Guardians (highest judicial body with oversight over parliamentary legislation and presidential candidates). He ran against Mohammad Khatami in 1997 and lost with a notable margin.
Mohammad Ali Najafi — Ministry of Education
He began his doctorate at MIT, but to participate in the revolutionary movement against the Shah, he returned to Iran. Najafi has served in similar posts in the past, including the same ministry to which he is appointed to under former president, Rafsanjani.
Mohammad Bagher Nobakht — Management and Planning Organization
From Rasht (a city in northern Iran and by the Caspian Sea), Nobakht has studied economics in both the United Kingdom and Switzerland. He was a Rasht representative to Iran’s parliament. Nobakht is close to former president Rafsanjani, and performs economic research at the Center for Strategic Research. Prior to Rouhani’s election, Nobakht worked on Mr. Rouhani’s presidential campaign.
Mohammad Nahavandian – Head of the Presidential Bureau and Special Economic Adviser
Nahavandian has studied at a Shia seminary under the eminent Ayatollah Morteza Mottahari—a Muslim jurist, intellectual, and political activist who partook in the revolutionary struggle. In addition to religious study, Nahavandian holds a doctorate from George Washington University in the United States. He has had a number of educational and executive positions before; in Washington, he instituted the Islamic Research and Information Center aimed at “[i]ntroducing Islamic teachings to the researchers and academia in the western world based on the Holy Quran and the Traditions of the Holy Prophet of Islam [and Shia Imams].”
Mohammad Reza Ne’matzadeh – Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Business
He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Berkeley university. He has worked in the administrations of Rafsanjani, Khatami, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-2013). Under Ahmadinejad, he was special adviser to the minister of oil, but because of disagreements with the administration and criticisms directed at Ahmadinejad, he was terminated in his role as special adviser.
Ali Rabi’i – Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs
Rabi’i comes from a working class family in southern Tehran. He performed executive functions in the National Security Council under President Khatami among other posts. Rabi’i has also taught at the University of Tehran. He has a close relationship with Khatami and served as his social adviser.
Masoud Sultanifar – Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
He holds a masters in political science and has been governor of three Iranian provinces. Sultanifar was a former assistant to the now defunct Physical Education Organization, which promoted the development of athletics and sporting activities of Iran.
Mohammad Shari’atmadari – Executive Assistant
His father was active against the Shah’s government, for which, he was persecuted. During the revolutionary years, Shari’atmadari propagated Ayatollah Khomeini’s politics. During the preisdency of Rafsanjani and Khatami, Shari’atmadari was appointed minister to the now dissolved Ministry of Commerce.
Waliallah Sayf – Central Bank
He has a doctorate in accounting from Allameh Tabataba’i University and has had a number of posts for Iranian banks.
Mahmoud Va’ezi – Ministry of Information, Communication, and Technology
He holds a masters in electrical engineering and doctorate in international relations, and has assisted the Expediency Discernment Council’s foreign policy research. Prior to his current appoitment, Va’ezi served on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Bijan Zanganeh — Ministry of Petroleum
Zanganeh served on the same ministry during Khatami’s presidency. He holds a masters in civil engineering, and taught at Khajeh Nasir al-Din Tusi University. Zanganeh served in the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance prior to his appointment—a ministry that monitors and censors art and media deemed to be unIslamic.
Mohammad Javvad Zarif – Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Zarif comes from a relatively wealthy mercantile family in Tehran. He had gone to Denver, United States for his doctorate, but before completion, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services revoked his visa. Under Khatami, he served as the assistant to legal and international affairs for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and also as Iran’s representative to the United Nations. He became close to President Rouhani when the two worked together on nuclear negotiations with the West.
Latest posts by CME (see all)
- “Terrorist, plain and simple”? The misleading strategy behind the “terrorist” tag. – October 6, 2015
- Letter Smuggled out of Egyptian Prisons: Esraa El Taweel Speak – July 14, 2015
- We must not forget Abu-Salim – July 7, 2015