Behzad Nabavi
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Behzad Nabavi

Behzad Nabavi
Behzad Nabavi 2019.jpg
First Deputy of the Parliament of Iran

28 May 2002 - 28 May 2003
Mohammad Reza Khatami
Mohammad Reza Khatami

26 May 2000 - 28 May 2001
Hassan Rouhani
Mohammad Reza Khatami
Member of the Parliament of Iran

26 May 2000 - 18 April 2004[1]
ConstituencyTehran, Rey, Shemiranat and Eslamshahr
Majority1,148,840 (39.19%)[2]
Minister of Heavy Industries

31 May 1982 - 27 August 1989
PresidentAli Khamenei
Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Mostafa Hashemitaba
Hadi Nejad Hosseynian
Minister without portfolio
for Executive Affairs

10 September 1980 - 31 May 1982
PresidentAbolhassan Banisadr
Mohammad Ali Rajai
Ali Khamenei
Mohammad Ali Rajai
Mohammad Javad Bahonar
Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani
Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Gholam Reza Aghazadeh
Personal details
Born (1941-09-29) 29 September 1941 (age 78)
Tehran, Iran
Political partyMojahedin of the Islamic Revolution of Iran Organization
Other political
MIRO (1979-83)[3]
MKO (1969-75)[3]
NF (1961-65)[3]
Spouse(s)Hengameh Razavi[3]
Alma materAmir Kabir University of Technology
Nickname(s)The Old Guerilla[3]

Behzad Nabavi (Persian: ?‎) is an Iranian reformist politician. He served as Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Iran and was one of the founders of the reformist party Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization. Prior to his career as a democratic reformist, Nabavi was considered an ideologue of the Iranian Islamic left until that force was sidelined by conservatives in the 1990s.

Early life

Nabavi was born in Tehran in 1941.[3] His father was a historian,[3] He graduated from Amir Kabir University of Technology with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in the mid-1960s. He received a master's degree in electrical engineering in 1964.[3]

Career and activities

Nabavi started his political activity as a guerrilla fighter against the Pahlavi government and served a prison term as a result. He has personally confirmed that when he was arrested in 1972, he had tried suicide by swallowing a cyanide pill, which "fortunately or unfortunately" did not work.

During the Islamic Revolution he was among the founders of the Islamic Revolution Committees (known as komite or komiteh in Iran) which served as a security force mainly working against armed opposition parties and militia, the early years of the Islamic Republic. Nabavi was also a founder of the intelligence office under the Presidency, which later became the ministry of intelligence.

Nabavi acted as the chief negotiator of Iran during the discussions with United States officials in the Iran hostage crisis, where he has been described as a "radical" who gained influence at the expense of "moderates" as a result of the crisis.[4]

Nabavi served in different posts in the government of Iran, including a member of the Central Committee of the Islamic Revolution, the head of the Setad-e Basij-e Eghtesadi-e Keshvar (the body that introduced government-issued coupons because of economical difficulties of the Iran-Iraq War), which made the conservatives call him a couponist (which rhymes with communist in Persian), minister of heavy industries[5] under Mir-Hossein Mousavi, and a representative of Tehran to the parliament (39% of ballots in 2000).

He also worked in some state-owned petroleum companies, and acted as the chairman of the board in Petropars and a consultant to the CEO in Mapna, a company working on expansion of oil refineries in Iran.

As a member of the parliament, Nabavi has been one of the major critics of the Council of Guardians, the body which both vets candidates for political office and can veto legislation passed by parliament. In turn, the council banned him from running for re-election for parliamental in 2004 along with 80 other incumbents. On 1 February 2004, Nabavi resigned from parliament together with more than 100 MPs, and his resignation was accepted by a 154/22/7 (for/against/absentation) vote by the parliament on 18 April 2004. In his resignation speech, he mentioned the "violation of public rights" to be his main reason for resignation.

Nabavi was also prohibited from running for office in other elections, and summoned by the judiciary for libel and "disturbing the public mind", when he was serving as an MP and hence certain restrictions applied for such summonings.

Nabavi is among the people who started the notions of insider and outsider in the Islamic Republic, an idea that is mainly used by the conservatives. He still personally follows a division of insider and outsider, and does not sign the political declarations of his own party if it is co-signed by the Freedom Movement Party, a nationalist-religious party whose members have served as the first interim government of the Islamic Republic, but is now considered illegal by certain officials in the government, from both reformists and conservatives.[] Behzad Nabavi and Ali Akbar Mohtashami were among those who prevented by the Guardian council from taking part in the elections of Majlis.[6]


Nabavi was arrested after the 2009 Iran Presidential Election.[7] He was sentenced to six years in prison by the court in February 2010.[8]


  1. ^ Jamshid Barzegar (18 April 2004), Behzad Nabavi's quit from Majlis (in Persian), BBC, retrieved 2015
  2. ^ "Parliament members" (in Persian). Iranian Majlis. Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Sahimi, Muhammad (11 August 2009). "Patriots and Reformists: Behzad Nabavi and Mostafa Tajzadeh". PBS. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ Brumberg, Daniel, Reinventing Khomeini, University of Chicago Press, (2001), p. 118
  5. ^ Moaddel, Mansoor (August 1991). "Class Struggle in Post-Revolutionary Iran". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 23 (3): 317-343. doi:10.1017/s0020743800056324. JSTOR 164485.
  6. ^ Anoushiravan Enteshami & Mahjoob Zweiri (2007). Iran and the rise of Neoconsevatives,the politics of Tehran's silent Revolution. I.B.Tauris. p. 9.
  7. ^ "Iranian Reformist Behzad Nabavi Returns to Evin Prison". Payvand. 12 June 2009.
  8. ^ "Iran jails opposition leader Behzad Nabavi". BBC. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 2013.

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