Mohsen Rezaee

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Mohsen Rezaee
Rezaee in February 2018
Nickname(s)Haj Mohsen[1]
Service/branchIslamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
Years of service1980–1997; 2015–present[2]
RankMajor general
Battles/warsIran–Iraq War
AwardsFath Medal.jpg Order of Fath (1st class)
Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council
Assumed office
9 September 1997
Personal details
Sabzevar Rezaei Mirgha'ed

(1954-09-01) 1 September 1954 (age 65)
Masjed Soleyman, Khuzestan, Iran
Political partyResistance Front of Islamic Iran (Spiritual leader)
Other political
Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization (1979–1980)
Masoumeh Khadang (m. 1974)
Children4, including Ahmad
Alma mater

Mohsen Rezaee Mirgha'ed (Persian: محسن رضایی میرقائد‎, born Sabzevar Rezaei Mirgha'ed on 1 September 1954) is an Iranian conservative politician affiliated with the Resistance Front of Islamic Iran[2] and senior military officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who currently holds office as the secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council.

From 1980 to 1997, Rezaee was commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Before the Iranian Revolution, Rezaee was a member of the Islamist guerilla rebel group Mansouroun and joined the Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization following the revolution.[3]

Dubbed a "perennial candidate",[4] Rezaei ran as a conservative presidential candidate in the 2009 elections,[5] coming third with 1.7 percent of the vote, behind winner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and reformist runner-up Mir-Hossein Mousavi.[6] He was also a candidate in 2013 presidential election and received 3,884,412 votes. He ranked fourth behind winner Hassan Rouhani, runner-up Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and Saeed Jalili.

Early life and education

Rezaei was born in Masjed Soleyman on 9 September 1954 to a religious Bakhtiyari nomadic family.[7][8][9] He spent his childhood and adolescence in the oil-rich city of Masjed Soleyman (Irsoleymān) in southwestern Iran.

Along with his close friends, he established the "Religion and Science Association". When he was to begin studying at a school run by National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in 1969, Rezaei moved to the city of Ahvaz.

At high school, he started his political and cultural struggle against the Shah's regime. In the last year of high school, he was arrested by the Shah Security service SAVAK in Ahvaz, interrogated and tortured. He was 17 when he served five months in solitary confinement. He did not stop his political activities after he was released from prison.

Rezaei arrived in Tehran in 1974 to study mechanical engineering at Iran University of Science and Technology. He studied and worked at the same time. SAVAK intensified its crackdown on guerrilla groups to which he was a member. He had to abandon the university.

He launched provincial branches of Mansouroun guerrilla fighters in seven provinces. When Ruhollah Khomeini returned home from exile, the Mansouroun group was tasked with protecting the revolutionary leader. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, seven armed Muslim groups teamed up and established the Islamic Revolution Mujahideen Organization to safeguard the nascent Islamic Revolution.

Although he studied mechanical engineering at Iran University of Science and Technology before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Rezaee switched to economics after the Iran–Iraq War, studying at Tehran University and received his PhD in 2001.[7]


Ali Sayad Shirazi and Mohsen Rezaee

Rezaei joined the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and later was appointed chief of its intelligence division.[10] He was appointed as the IRGC commander by Ruhollah Khomeini, and after it grew in organizational complexity he assumed the office of IRGC's commander-in-chief on 11 September 1981,[11] when he was 27 years old, and remained in the post until he announced his retirement from all of his military posts. He actively participated in the Iran–Iraq War.[12] In 1986, he was named member of the Supreme Defense Council.[12]

Rezaee was removed from the IRGC in 1997 due to pressures from the followers of the then president Mohammad Khatami.[13] Another reason for his dismissal was his failure to respond to the perceived threat of attack from the US.[10] He was replaced by Yahya Rahim Safavi.[14]

He became a member of Expediency Discernment Council and then, its secretary in August 1997.[8] He was also appointed chair of the commission for macroeconomics and commerce. In addition, he is a reviewer of Iran's 2025 versions development.

Rezaei founded the news website Tabnak, originally Baztab, in 2002 as a reaction to proliferation of reformist websites.[15][16] He is also related to Wikirezaee. He also co-founded Imam Hossein University and teaches there.

It is reported that he returned to IRGC in 2015.[2]

Presidential campaigns

Rezaei was a candidate of the presidential election of 2005, but withdrew on 15 June 2005, only two days before the election. Rezaei mentioned he was withdrawing from the race for "the integration of the votes of the nation" and "their effectiveness". He did not endorse any candidate.[17]

On 23 April 2009, he announced that he entered the 2009 presidential race, after trying to find another conservative to run against President Ahmadinejad which he lost.[5] He was also a candidate in the 2013 election. Rezaei announced his run for presidency in October 2012.[18]

Rezaee (first from left) with Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei in funeral of a commander of the Air Force, 8 January 1995.

On 12 December 2016, Rezaei announced that he "has no decision to run for president" in 2017 election.[19] However, in February 2017 he told press that if asked by the Popular Front of Islamic Revolutionary Forces to stand, he "will think about it".[20]


In 1988, Rezaei sent a letter to Ayatollah Khomeini in which he argued that the Iran–Iraq War could not be won.[10]

In the run-up to the 2009 Iranian elections, Rezaei criticized opposing candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's public comments questioning the Holocaust as "not useful" for Iran's international standing.[21] Rezaei stated on 2 August 2009 that the ongoing trials of so-called 'prisoners' was an unjust act, issuing a letter on behalf of the Expediency Council of which he is the secretary, condemning the government.[22]

In September 2019, Rezaei expressed his hope that Iran would capture US President Donald Trump and place him on trial.[23]


A clash and the disagreement over strategy to be adopted in the Iran-Iraq war emerged between Ali Sayed Shirazi, commander of land forces, and Rezaei in July 1986.[12] When this rivalry became public, Ayatollah Khomeini met them in his residence on 19 July 1986 and urged them to "seek unity", telling them "You must endeavor, not to think in terms of being members of the Armed Forces or those of the Guards Corps or of the Basij forces. ... We must understand that if there were to be any disputes among you ... not only are we doomed here and now, but we also are guilty before God."[12]

In November 2006, Argentine Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corra issued international arrest warrants for Rezaei, six other Iranians, and one Lebanese in connection with the AMIA bombing, the attacks on 18 July 1994, a suicide bombing of the Jewish cultural center (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which resulted in the deaths of 85 people and serious injuries to 151.[24] The attack on the Jewish cultural center came two years after the 1992 terrorist bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. In 1998, Rezaei's son, Ahmad, defected to the United States, where he told officials that the attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires was planned in Tehran. The son told U.S. authorities that he had accompanied his father to Lebanon to witness the training.[24] Ahmad Rezaei returned to Iran after a short time and declared that his statements about his father's involvement in the bombing were baseless.[25] Mohsen Rezaei has been on the official Wanted list of Interpol since March 2007, for allegations of "Aggravated Murder and Damages" related to the 1994 AMIA bombing case.[26][27][28] Rezaei rejected the allegations, saying in June 2009 "These charges were a sheer lie".[29]

Electoral history

Rezaee casting his vote in 2016 parliamentary election
Year Election Votes % Rank Notes
2000 Parliament 539,796 18.41 36th Lost
2005 President Withdrew
2009 President 678,240 1.73 3rd Lost
2013 President Increase 3,884,412 Increase 10.55 4th Lost

Personal life

Rezaei married in 1974. He has five children, two sons and three daughters. His eldest son, Ahmad, migrated to the United States in 1998 and sought political asylum.[7]

Ahmad spoke against the policies of the Iranian Islamic government, and accused his father and others of supporting terrorist acts.[7] He returned to Iran in 2005, recanting his statements,[7] then migrated to the United Arab Emirates in 2011. On 13 November 2011, his body was found in a hotel in Dubai.[7] It was reported that he was killed by a hotel servant, but the Dubai Police stated that he had died after taking a large quantity of antidepressants.[30] His brother, Omidvar, is a member of the Parliament of Iran since 2008.


  • Iran at future horizon
  • Fath's orders
  • Iran and Middle East
  • Look of the Sun
  • I want to die like a cloud
  • 186 Pilgrim notes
  • Regional Iran
  • Answer to some questions about War
  • Establishment of Badr's Sepah
  • Explanation of trade flows on industrial productivity in Iran
  • Rights of the accused in the court system
  • Hidden Hands
  • The third face of economic jihad
  • Ahmad Kazemi's biography
  • Model for cultural policy and planning
  • Who was Ebrahim Hemat?
  • The second wave of the Revolution
  • Economic Federalism
  • Monetary theory, and general equilibrium Atyar

See also


  1. ^ Ali Chenar (2 April 2010), "Exploiting Martyrs for Propaganda", Tehran Bureau, PBS, retrieved 5 October 2017
  2. ^ a b c Rohollah Faghihi (13 May 2015). "Iran's Rezaei returns to his military roots". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  3. ^ Alfoneh, Ali (2013), Iran Unveiled: How the Revolutionary Guards Is Transforming Iran from Theocracy into Military Dictatorship, AEI Press, pp. 8–10
  4. ^ Robert Tait (15 June 2013), Iran election: Mohsen Rezaei profile, The Telegraph, retrieved 26 March 2015
  5. ^ a b Nazila Fathi (23 April 2009). "Ex-Leader of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Seeks Presidency". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  6. ^ "Ahmadinejad wins Iran presidential election". BBC News. 13 June 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Candidate Profile: Mohsen Rezaei Mirghaed". Asharq Alawsat. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Biographies of Eight Qualified Candidates for Iran Presidential Election". Iran Review. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  9. ^ Iran's ethnic minorities key issue in elections Al Arabiya, 22 May 2009
  10. ^ a b c Frederic Wehrey; Jerrold D. Green; Brian Nichiporuk; Alireza Nader; Lydia Hansell; Rasool Nafisi; S. R. Bohandy (2009). "The Rise of the Pasdaran" (PDF). RAND Corporation. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  11. ^ Nikola B. Schahgaldian, Gina Barkhordarian (March 1987), The Iranian Military Under the Islamic Republic (PDF), RAND, p. 118, ISBN 0-8330-0777-7, retrieved 15 January 2017
  12. ^ a b c d Sick, Gary G. (Spring 1987). "Iran's Quest for Superpower Status". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  13. ^ Buchta, Wilfried (2000). Who rules Iran?: The structure of power in the Islamic Republic (PDF). Washington, DC: The Washington Inst. for Near East Policy [u.a.] ISBN 0-944029-39-6.
  14. ^ Rubin, Michael (Fall 2008). "Iran's Revolutionary Guards - A Rogue Outfit?". Middle East Quarterly. XV (4): 37–48. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  15. ^ "Iran: Did Ahmadinejad use Saberi in attempt to score diplomatic coup?". Eurasianet. 19 May 2009. Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
  16. ^ "Assessing the Domestic Roles of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps". Defense Technical Information Center. 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  17. ^ Iranian Student News Agency Archived 22 November 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Candidates profile Al Jazeera, 21 May 2013
  19. ^ "'Mohsen Rezaee has no decision to run for president'", Tehran Times, 13 December 2016, retrieved 1 January 2017
  20. ^ Iran’s conservatives scramble to find a presidential candidate, The Arab Weekly, 19 February 2017, retrieved 21 February 2017
  21. ^ "Ahmadinejad's Challenger Seeks Path for Ties With U.S." Fox News. Associated Press. 27 May 2009.
  22. ^[permanent dead link] (dead link)
  23. ^ staff, T. O. I. "Top Iranian official: We'll catch Trump, put him on trial". Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  24. ^ a b Stephens, Brett, "Iran's al Qaeda", Stephens' "Global View" column, editorial pages, The Wall Street Journal, 16 October 2007; p. A20
  25. ^ Mohsen Rezaei, A closer look Archived 14 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Wanted profile on Interpol website Interpol
  27. ^ Interpol press release Archived 20 August 2010 at the Library of Congress Web Archives Interpol
  28. ^ "Argentina: More international arrest warrants issued for 1994 Jewish center bombing". South American Political and Economic Affairs. 16 November 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  29. ^ Borzou Daragahi (8 June 2009). "Foreign Exchange". Los Angeles Times.
  30. ^ Ahmad Rezaee, son of the Mohsen Rezaee was killed in Dubai Tabnak

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. "Violent Aftermath: The 2009 Election and Suppression of Dissent in Iran". Feb. 2010, New Haven, CT. p. 5

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Ali Mohammad Besharati
Head of Intelligence office of the IRGC
Succeeded by
Vahid Nasseri
Preceded by
Morteza Rezaee
Commander-in-Chief of the IRGC
Succeeded by
Yahya Rahim Safavi
Political offices
Preceded by
Hassan Habibi
Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council
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