Potential Candidate Series: Mohammad Shariatmadari

Mohammad Shariatmadari - Photo: Tasnim News Agency

Photo: Tasnim News Agency

Mohammad Shariatmadari is a member of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, a senior advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader. He served as Commerce Minister for eight years during President Mohammad Khatami’s two terms (1997-2005).

Shariatmadari has said that he is going to run for the presidency in 2013 as an independent candidate.

After Iran’s 1979 Revolution, Shariatmadari was a member of Central Revolutionary Committee. He is one of the founders of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry. Under former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, Shariatmadari was deputy of Ministry of Commerce. Shariatmadari has also played an influential role in Ayatollah Khamenei’s office since he became the supreme leader of the country.

In the 1997 presidential race, Shariatmadari was a strong supporter of Ayatollah Mohammad Reyshahri, who lost to Khatami. Although he was Khatami’s minister and a Board Member with the Chamber of Commerce, Shariatmadari is more known as an intelligence figure rather than an economic one.

Born in Tehran in 1960, Shariatmadari studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Kerman. On his official website, he says that he has an MBA and since 2003 has been studying “abroad” for his Ph.D, although there is no mention of the name of the university.

Shariatmadari recently said in an interview that as a teenager he participated in the anti-Baha’i  Hojjatieh Society and that he has family ties with the influential Imam Sadeq University.

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