Ali Akbar Velayati
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
15 December 1981 - 20 August 1997
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
|Member of Parliament|
28 May 1980 - 15 December 1981
|Constituency||Tehran, Rey and Shemiranat|
|Born||24 June 1945|
Shemiranat County, Iran
|Political party||Islamic Association of Physicians of Iran|
Islamic Coalition Party
|Islamic Republican Party (1979-1987)|
National Front (1961-1970s)
|Spouse(s)||Shirin Khoshnevisan (1980-2003, her death)|
Leyla Enayati (2007-present)
|Alma mater||Tehran University of Medical Sciences|
Johns Hopkins University
|Awards||Order of Knowledge (1st class)|
Ali Akbar Velayati (Persian: ; born 24 June 1945, Tehran) is an Iranian conservative politician and physician. Velayati is a distinguished professor at Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, senior adviser to the Supreme Leader in international affairs and head of the board of founders and the board of trustees of the Islamic Azad University.
He is also member of Iranian Science and Culture Hall of Fame, Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, Expediency Discernment Council's President of Center for Strategic Research and senior fellow of Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences.
He was the Minister of Foreign Affairs for more than fifteen years from December 1981 to August 1997 under Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Presidents Ali Khamenei and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. He is the first and only person to have held this position for more than ten years. He was a candidate in 2013 presidential election and lost, coming fifth out of the six candidates garnering 2,268,753 votes, which was 6.18% of the votes.
Velayati was born in Rostamabad village in Shemiran, Tehran, on 24 June 1945. He was matriculated into Tehran University of medical sciences in 1964. Velayati finished his studies in pediatrics before moving to Johns Hopkins University for a fellowship in infectious diseases. In the meantime, Velayati taught at university and is an active member of such influential bodies as the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, Expediency Council and Islamic Encyclopedia Foundation. During the rule of Mohammad Reza Shah, Velayati was arrested by the intelligence service SAVAK when he was 17.
In 1961, Velayeti joined the National Front, a secular party. Following the Iranian Revolution in 1979, he was elected as a member of the parliament from his home town in parliamentary election of that year. He was also a deputy minister of health from November 1980 to July 1981 in the cabinet of Mohammad-Ali Rajai.
After winning the presidential election on 13 October 1981, then President Ali Khamenei proposed Velayati as his prime minister to the Parliament of Iran, but Parliament voted against him on 22 October. Khamenei later proposed Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who gained Parliament's approval. In November 1986, Velayati argued that Iran should have diplomatic ties with all countries.
During the premiership of Mousavi, Velayati served as the minister of foreign affairs. After the election of Hashemi Rafsanjani as president, he retained his post until 1997, when Rafsanjani's term was ended. He has been an advisor on international affairs to the Supreme Leader of Iran since 1997.
In November 2006, Argentine Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corra issued international arrest warrants for Velayati, six other Iranians and one Lebanese in connection with the bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, which resulted in the death of 85 people and serious injuries to 151. Velayati has been on the official Wanted list of Interpol since March 2007, for allegations of "Aggravated Murder and Damages" related to the AMIA bombing. The arrest warrant is based on the allegation that senior Iranian officials planned the attack in an August 1993 meeting, including Khamanei, the Supreme Leader, Mohammad Hejazi, Khamanei's intelligence and security advisor, Rafsanjani, then president, Ali Fallahian, then intelligence minister, and Velayati, then foreign minister.
Velayeti was appointed to the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations in 2006. He appears to be close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, serving as his advisor on international affairs and writing the introduction to Khamenei's book Palestine. He attended funeral service of Imad Mughniyah, who had been killed on 12 February 2008, representing Khamenei on 14 February in Lebanon.
Velayati was under consideration by the conservative alliance of Iran as a possible candidate for 2005 presidential election, but he announced that he did not accept candidacy of the conservative alliance and would run as an Independent. He finally decided not to run. It was speculated that he did not want to run against Rafsanjani.
He announced his candidacy for the 2013 presidential election and was supported by some conservative groups. He promised a strong external relationship with community reconciliation, and more diplomatic relations with Europe and the United States. He also criticized President Ahmadinejad's foreign policy. He received 2,268,753 of the votes, coming in fifth place.
Velayati has had a large number of books and academic works published, including:
| Minister of Foreign Affairs
| President of Center for Strategic Research
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
| Chairman of Board of Trustees of Islamic Azad University