Mostafa Pourmohammadi

Mostafa Pourmohammadi (born 9 March 1960, Qom) is an Iranian prosecutor and politician, who has served at different positions and cabinet posts. He has been minister of justice since 15 August 2013.

Mostafa Pourmohammadi
Mostafa Pourmohammadi

Pourmohammadi was prosecutor of the Revolutionary Court in Bandar Abbas, Kermanshah and Mashhad from 1979 to 1986. Next he served as prosecutor of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Court in the western regions in 1986.

He was appointed deputy intelligence minister in 1987 under the then intelligence minister Hojjatoleslam Ali Fallahian during the term of the former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. He was also named director the ministry’s counterintelligence directorate. From 1997 to 1998 Pourmohammadi served as the director of the ministry’s foreign directorate. His term as deputy intelligence minister ended in 1999.

In addition, he was acting deputy minister of information from 1997 to 1999. He also served as member and head of the board of trustees of Center for Islamic Revolution Documents. He was appointed by supreme leader Khamenei as the head of the political and social department of his office in 2003.

On 24 August 2005, Pourmohammadi was appointed interior minister by Ahmadinejad. The Majlis approved him as minister with 153 votes in favor. In an effort to end the plight of refugees, Pourmohammadi attended a meeting of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on 10 October 2006 in Geneva, Switzerland. He was removed from office in a cabinet reshuffle in May 2008. He was dismissed allegedly for informing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei about the electoral irregularities without the consent of Ahmedinejad.

Then Pourmohammadi was appointed head of Iran’s general inspectorate office.[16] He announced his candidacy for the 2013 presidential election in March 2013 but withdrew in favor of Manouchehr Mottaki. On 4 August 2013, Pourmohammadi was nominated by newly elected President Hassan Rouhani as the minister of justice and was confirmed on 15 August by the Majlis.

Controversy

During his tenure as deputy intelligence minister, Pourmohammadi is reportedly implicated in the 1988 Massacre of Iranian Prisoners based on the orders of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and other key politicians. According to Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, he was “the representative of the Ministry of Information in charge of questioning prisoners in Evin Prison” during the massacre. Montazeri saw Pourmohammadi as being “a central figure” in the mass executions of prisoners in Tehran.

His nomination as justice minister in August 2013 was criticized by three international organizations, namely Reporters Without Borders, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, and Human Rights Watch, on 8 August and these organizations requested the withdrawal of his nomination for the post of justice minister due to his controversial past tenure.