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Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani
Chairman of the Assembly of Experts

In office
8 March 2011 – 21 October 2014
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
Preceded by Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Succeeded by Mahmoud Shahroudi (Acting)
Prime Minister of Iran

In office
2 September 1981 – 29 October 1981
President Ali Khamenei
Preceded by Mohammad-Javad Bahonar
Succeeded by Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Minister of Interior

In office
20 August 1980 – 1 October 1981
Prime Minister Mohammad-Ali Rajai
Mohammad-Javad Bahonar
Preceded by Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Succeeded by Ali Akbar Nategh-Nouri
Minister of Justice

In office
12 August 1980 – 20 August 1980
Prime Minister Mohammad-Ali Rajai
Preceded by Ahmad Sayyed Javadi
Succeeded by Assodollah Mobasheri
Secretary of the Guardian Council

In office
22 July 1980 – 17 December 1980
Appointed by Ruhollah Khomeini
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Lotfollah Safi Golpaygani
Personal details
Born (1931-08-06)6 August 1931
Kan District, Tehran, Iran
Died 21 October 2014(2014-10-21) (aged 83)
Tehran, Iran
Resting place Shah Abdol-Azim Shrine
Nationality Iranian
Political party Combatant Clergy Association
Spouse(s) Nesa Khaton Sorkhei (1960–2014, his death)
Children 3
Alma mater Qom Seminary
Religion Shia Islam
Website Official website
Military service
Allegiance  Iran
Service/branch Revolutionary Committees
Years of service 1979–1982
Commands Chief Commander of Revolutionary Committees

Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani (Persian: محمدرضا مهدوی کنی‎, 6 August 1931 – 21 October 2014) was an Iranian Shia cleric, writer and conservative politician who was Acting Prime Minister of Iran from 2 September until 29 October 1981. Before that, he was Minister of Interior and Minister of Justice in the cabinets of Mohammad-Ali Rajai and Mohammad-Javad Bahonar. He was the leader of Combatant Clergy Association and Chairman of the Assembly of Experts and also founder and president of Imam Sadiq University.

On 4 June 2014, Mahdavi Kani was hospitalized in Bahman Hospital and went into a coma after suffering a heart attack. He died on 21 October 2014.[1]

Early life[]

Mahdavi Kani was born on 6 August 1931[2] in the village of Kan, near Tehran.[3] His father was an Ayatollah and taught in the Mofid School.[4] After he finished basic education in Kan, he studied at Borhan High School in Tehran. He left for Qom in 1947 to study at a religious seminary.[3] His teachers included Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Nematollah Salehi Najafabadi,Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Reza Golpayegani, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Boroujerdi and Allameh Sayyed Muhammad Husayn Tabatabaei.[3]

He comes back to Tehran in 1961 to teach religious sciences. In that Time, most of clerics participated in protests against Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was known in that Time as “taghoot”. Mahdavi Kani also added to these clerics and formed alliance with Ayatollah Khomeini.[3] Also He imprisoned by Shah three times.[5]


After the demise of Ayatollah Boroujerdi, Mahdavi Kani went back to Tehran and continued his struggle against the Pahlavi regime, something which he had started since he was 18, during the time of Ayatollah Boroujerdi. He was considerably active and effective in his participation in the Islamic movement of Iran led by Khomeini. Before the Islamic Revolution, he was appointed by Khomeini to the Revolutionary Council and later took up various political and religious positions. He was the leader of the Combatant Clergy Association, which he cofounded in 1977.[4] Mahdavi Kani refused to join Islamic Republican Party in 1979, because he believed clerics should remain non-partisan.[6]

He was appointed chief of the Central Provisional Komiteh for the Islamic Revolution that was a body in charge of trials and executions of the civil and military officials of the Pahlavi era.[7]

He served as the minister of interior in the cabinet of Mohammad-Ali Rajai to succeeding Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. He was reappointed as minister of interior in the cabinet of Mohammad-Javad Bahonar. He became the interim prime minister on 2 September 1981 and was in office until 29 October 1981.[8] He was also chairman of provisional presidential council, after the assassination of president Mohammad Ali Rajai and prime minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar. He has also been a member of the Constitutional Amendment Council of Iran, appointed by Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, to review and amend the Constitution of Iran in 1989. He was also elected as member of the assembly in 2008 in a by-election from Tehran.

Mahdavi Kani is the founder and former head of Imam Sadiq University in Tehran, a university specializing in humanities.[3]

He was elected as chairman of the Assembly of Experts on 8 March 2011 after Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani resigned from office.[9] In March 2013, he was reelected to the post for further two years.[9][10]

Illness and death[]

Mahdavi Kani was hospitalized for a stroke on Ruhollah Khomeini's death anniversary, which brought him to coma on 4 June 2014.[1] He was in coma for more than five months[11] and died on 21 October 2014 at the age of 83.[1] Mahdavi Kani was survived by his three children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Hours after Mahdavi Kani's death, his office announced that his state funeral will be held on 23 October and his body will be buried at Shah-Abdol-Azim shrine.[12] Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also announced two days of mourning in his memorial.[13]


The following works of Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani are published:[14]

  • The Beginning Points in Practical Ethics
  • The Book of Beest goftar (20 Discourses)
  • Starting Points in Practical Logic
  • The Basics and Principles of Islamic Economy in Holy Koran
  • The Explanation of Iftitah Prayer

See also[]

  • Interim government of Iran, 1981


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Jedinia, Mehdi. "Iranian officials mourn powerful cleric". Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  2. Advertise of the list of fundamentalists, on the stone grave of ayatollah mahdavi kani
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Lorentz, John H. (2010). The A to Z Guide Series. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0810876385. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Shone, Alex. "Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi-Kani: profile of the new chairman of Iran's Assembly of Experts". Defence Viewpoints. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  5. Hiro, Dilip (2013). Iran Under the Ayatollahs (Routledge Revivals). Routledge. ISBN 978-0415669696. 
  6. Staff, writer. "Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani in the 15 parts of Islamic republic's history (Persian)". Archived from the original on 3 December 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  7. "Law And Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran" (Report). Amnesty International. 13 March 1980. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  8. Hosseini, Mir M.. "Interim Government Formed". Fourman. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Iran's Assembly of Experts re-elects Mahdavi-Kani as chairman". 5 March 2013. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  10. Karami, Arash (6 March 2013). "Iran Mourns Passing of Hugo Chavez". Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  11. Staff writer. "Head of Assembly of Experts dies at 83". Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  12. WINSOR, MORGAN. "Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani Death: Iranian President Declares Two-Day Mourning After Leading Cleric Dies". Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  13. Staff, Writer. "President announced two days of mourning on Mahdavi Kani memorial". Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  14. Staff, Writer. "Ayatollah Mohamad Reza Mahdavi Kani, a Brief Biography". 
Political offices
Preceded by
Ahmad Sayyed Javadi
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Assodollah Mobasheri
Preceded by
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Minister of Interior
Succeeded by
Ali Akbar Nategh-Nouri
Preceded by
Mohammad-Javad Bahonar
Acting Prime Minister of Iran
Succeeded by
Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Preceded by
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Chairman of the Assembly of Experts
Succeeded by
Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Party political offices
Preceded by
Fazlollah Mahallati
Secretary-General of Combatant Clergy Association
Succeeded by
Ali Movahedi-Kermani
Academic offices
Preceded by
Hussein-Ali Montazeri
President of Imam Sadiq University
Succeeded by
Mohammad-Saeed Mahdavi Kani

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