Sadeq Ardeshir Larijani

Sadeq Ardeshir Larijani (born 12 March 1961), more known as Amoli Larijani, is an Iranian cleric, politician and the current and fifth head of the judicial system of Iran after the 1979 revolution.

Early life and education

He was born in 1339 solar in Najaf.His father, namely Mirza Hashem Amoli, was an eminent Mujtahid of his time. He became familiar with religious sciences when he was a child. At the same time he learned modern sciences. He began his primary school in 1345 solar and finished the high school in 1356 solar. Exactly in that Time he interred to seminary. When he was a student in high school he could learn all books in mathematics and more. He could finish his studied in seminary in 1368 solar and in that time began to teach in seminary and university. He became also the member of scientific staffs of Qom University and taught many courses in theology and comparative philosophy. Larijani is the son of Ayatollah Mirza Hashem Amoli. His father was an ayatollah that worked in Najaf after being exiled by Mohammad Reza Shah. They moved to Iran after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Larijani is also a brother of Ali Larijani (Speaker of the Majlis), Mohammad Javad Larijani, Bagher Larijani (Chancellor of Tehran University of Medical Sciences), and Fazel Larijani (Iran’s former cultural attachée in Ottawa).

Sadeq Ardeshir Larijani


Larijani served as one of the 12 members of the Guardian Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran for eight years. Described as “relatively junior” or “inexperienced cleric” with “close ties to Iran’s military and intelligence agencies”, he was appointed head of the judicial system of Iran by supreme leader Ali Khamenei on 15 August 2009.

According to leading Iranian human rights defense lawyer Mohammad Seifzadeh, the head of the Judicial System of Iran is required to be a Mojtahed with significant experience in the field. Larijani, however, was neither an experienced jurist nor a highly ranked cleric and carried the title of “Hojjat-ol Eslam” up to a few months before his appointment to the post.


Shortly after his appointment, Larijani appointed Saeed Mortazavi to the post of deputy prosecutor general of Iran. Mortazavi was prosecutor general of Tehran for more than seven years during which he was involved in murdering and torturing a number of Iranian civilians and activists. One of the high-profile deaths attributed to Mortazavi is that of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. On 7 September 2009, Iranian police with permission from judiciary system and Tehran General Court entered the office for support of political prisoners and seized all the documents, computers among others. The police refused to give a receipt of the items. The office was organized by Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi for supporting the victims of torture in Iranian prisons. On 8 September 2009, Iranian Judiciary, unexpectedly closed and sealed the office of National Confidence Party and arrested Morteza Alviri and Alireza Beheshti and several of the closest allies of opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi. That same month, the authorities from the Judiciary System began targeting the children of leaders of the opposition groups. For instance, Atefeh Emam, the daughter of jailed activist Javad Emam, the Chief of Staff of Mousavi’s campaign, was arrested on 9 September 2009, held in a secret facility and tortured to pressure her to make a “confession” implicating her father. The Judiciary released her after twenty-four hours in the South of Tehran in an inappropriate condition.

Public image

According to a poll conducted in March 2016 by Information and Public Opinion Solutions LLC (iPOS) among Iranian citizens, Larijani has 37% approval and 29% disapproval ratings and thus a +8% net popularity; while 23% of responders don’t know him.