May 20, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11337

Who Is The New Iranian Foreign Minister? MEMRI Research On Ali Bagheri Kani From The MEMRI Archives

May 20, 2024
Iran | Special Dispatch No. 11337

On May 20, 2024, following an announcement that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and six others were killed in a helicopter crash, Iran's government appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani as Acting Foreign Minister.

In addition to his role as deputy foreign minister, Bagheri Kani, an experienced diplomat, was deputy foreign minister for political affairs and chief nuclear negotiator since 2021, when Raisi took office as president. He was a major critic of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal, saying that it violated most of Khamenei's "red lines" with its restrictions and surveillance.

Bagheri Kani's father was a prominent cleric and a member of the Assembly of Experts, the body that chooses Iran's Supreme Leader. His uncle, Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, was also head of the Assembly. In the 1990s, while working for the Foreign Ministry, Bagheri Kani grew close to the prominent conservative Saeed Jalili and Jalili was appointed secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council in 2007, and became Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Bagheri Kani served as his deputy.

After serving in the Council, Bagheri Cani joined the judiciary, which was then headed by Raisi, and served as secretary of Iran's Human Rights Council and assistant for international affairs. Bagheri Kani is considered anti-West, close to Iran's ultraconservative circles, and part of the inner circle of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who is the father-in-law of Bagheri's brother.[1]

The following are statements by Bagheri Kani in an October 2023 MEMRI Special Dispatch and in a March 2020 MEMRI TV clip.

Iranian Regime Officials Praise Iran's Proxies In The Palestinian Resistance And The October 7 Massacres, Call For Eradication Of Israel – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister For Political Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani, October 30, 2023

On Iranian television on November 16, 2023, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani said: "Hamas has succeeded well in administering the region in recent years, when Gaza was cruelly besieged by the Zionists. In fact, this was an expression of the intelligence and prescience of the resistance. The operation that happened on October 7 underlined exactly this point. The point that I wanted to stress is that this incident on October 7 caused an irreversible earthquake in the Zionist regime's military security system."[2]

Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani (Source: Tasnim, October 30, 2023)

Iranian High Council For Human Rights Secretary Ali Bagheri Kani: America Is The Great Satan, Acts Inhumanely Even During COVID-19 Pandemic; Countries That Do Not Cooperate With Us Are Responsible For Spreading The Virus, March 2020

Ali Bagheri Kani, the secretary of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, said in a March 18, 2020 interview on Iran's Channel 1 that America is the Great Satan even during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the Europeans who talk about human rights should be ashamed of themselves for obeying America's oppressive policies. He said that countries that do not cooperate with Iran regarding the coronavirus are responsible for spreading it all over the world, and he mocked a certain European country, the name of which he did not disclose, for sending Iran aid in the form of 100 pairs of boots. He added: "This is the kind of creatures that they are."

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

Ali Bagheri Kani: "There isn't much I can say about America. America is, indeed, the Great Satan, and its past and its future are clear, especially at a time like this when they become evident to everybody. The Europeans who talk about human rights should really feel a little bit ashamed of themselves for obeying the oppressive policy of the Americans. When everybody is dealing with this thing – with the coronavirus – they do not stop doing their illegal and inhumane thing. I need to add one thing: Countries that do not cooperate with Iran with regard to the coronavirus are responsible for its spreading all over the world. After all, corona is a disease that infects and spreads. If we cannot lock down a certain place, it will spread from there to the whole world.


"Let me tell you something. A certain European country, which I shall not name, has recently sent to Iran equipment to deal with the coronavirus. Do you know that it was? 100 pairs of boots. Can you believe this? I don't want to name that country. It is one of the important European countries. Yes, yes. It was recently. Their ambassador showed up at the airport and was photographed with the shipment. His picture was later published. I mean, this is the kind of creatures that they are."



[1], May 20, 2024.

[2] See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1729 – Iranian Regime Officials Praise Iran's Proxies In The Palestinian Resistance And The October 7 Massacres, Call For Eradication Of Israel, December 1, 2023.

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