Ahmad Khomeini

Last updated

Ahmad Khomeini
Portrait of Ahmad Khomeini - 1995 (cropped).jpg
Born(1946-03-15)15 March 1946
Died16 March 1995(1995-03-16) (aged 49)
Resting place Mausoleum of Ruhollah Khomeini
Nationality Iranian
Political party Islamic Republican Party [2]
Spouse(s)Fatemeh Tabatabaei
Children Hassan
Parent(s) Ruhollah Khomeini
Khadijeh Saqafi

Sayyid Ahmad Khomeini (Persian : سید احمد خمینی; 15 March 1946 – 16 March 1995) [1] was the younger son of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and father of Hassan Khomeini. He was the "right-hand" of his father before, during and after the revolution of Iran. He was a link between Ruholah Khomeini and officials and people. He had several decision-making positions.

Sayyid honorific title

Sayyid (Arabic: سيد‎ [ˈsæj.jɪd], Persian: [sejˈjed]; meaning "Mister"; plural: Saadat or Sadat Arabic: سادة‎ sādah is an honorific title denoting people accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his cousin and son-in-law Imam Ali through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Imam Husayn ibn Ali, sons of Muhammad's daughter Fatimah and Ali.

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a pluricentric language primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.

Ruhollah Khomeini 20th-century Iranian religious leader and politician

Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, known in the Western world as Ayatollah Khomeini, was an Iranian politician and marja. He was the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution that saw the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the end of 2,500 years of Persian monarchy. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. He was succeeded by Ali Khamenei on 4 June 1989.


He died because of a heart disease and was buried next to his father.

Early life and education

Ahmad Khomeini was born in Qom on 15 March 1946, where he did his primary and secondary education in Owhadi and Hakin Nezami school, respectively. [3] and then started seminary studies and accomplished primary and secondary hawza courses. He secretly joined his father, Ruhollah Khomeini, after his father was exiled to Najaf. [1]

Qom City in Iran

Qom is the seventh metropolis and also the seventh largest city in Iran. Qom is the capital of Qom Province. It is located 140 km to the south of Tehran. At the 2016 census its population was 1,201,158. It is situated on the banks of the Qom River.

Seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, and divinity school are educational institutions for educating students in scripture, theology, generally to prepare them for ordination to serve as clergy, in academics, or in Christian ministry. The English word is taken from the Latin seminarium, translated as seed-bed, an image taken from the Council of Trent document Cum adolescentium aetas which called for the first modern seminaries. In the West, the term now refers to Catholic educational institutes and has widened to include other Christian denominations and American Jewish institutions.


A Hawza or Ḥawzah ʿIlmīyah is a seminary where Shi'a Muslim clerics are educated.

Career and activities

Ahmad was regarded as Khomeini's "right-hand man", [4] the "torch-bearer for his father's anti-Western radicalism" [5] and was close to his father, the leader of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. He helped coordinate affairs during and after the Iranian Revolution, in Khomeini's office in Najaf, Paris and subsequent to the ayatollah's return to Iran in February 1979. [1] [6] He used to visit the deprived areas to learn their shortages and reported his findings to Imam Khomeini. His letters containing the issues he had encountered is available. [3] He was among the officials went through Fatah training. [7]

Iranian Revolution Revolution in Iran to overthrow the Shah replace him with Ayatollah Khomeini.

The Iranian Revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution or the 1979 Revolution, was a series of events that involved the overthrow of the last monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and the replacement of his government with an Islamic republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a leader of one of the factions in the revolt. The movement against the United States-backed monarchy was supported by various leftist and Islamist organizations and student movements.

Najaf Place in Najaf Governorate, Iraq

Najaf or Al-Najaf al-Ashraf also Baniqia is a city in central-south Iraq about 160 km south of Baghdad. Its estimated population in 2013 was 1,000,000 people. It is the capital of Najaf Governorate. It is widely considered the third holiest city of Shia Islam, the Shi'ite world's spiritual capital, and the center of Shi'ite political power in Iraq.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

His political life career commenced after death of his brother, Mostafa. [8] In the 6 years after the death of his father, he had several decision-making positions. [8] He served as his father's chief of staff until his father's death in 1989. From the summer of 1988 to 1989, death of Khomeini, he was one of the decision-makers in all official issues along with Rafsanjani and Khamenei. [9] He was a member of Iran's Supreme National Security Council without assuming any executive position. [10] He was a member of Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution by Ali Khamenei's official order. [11] He became the overseer of the Mausoleum of Khomeini. He spoke against America, Israel and what he called "exploitative Iranian capitalists," on several occasions. [5]

Mostafa Khomeini Iranian religious servant

Sayyid Mostafa Khomeini was an Iranian cleric and the son of Ayatollah Khomeini. He died before the 1979 revolution.

Ali Khamenei Iranian Shiite faqih, Marja and official independent islamic leader

Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei is a marja and the second and current Supreme Leader of Iran, in office since 1989. He was previously President of Iran from 1981 to 1989. Khamenei is the second-longest serving head of state in the Middle East, as well as the second-longest serving Iranian leader of the last century, after Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

Supreme National Security Council

Supreme National Security Council is the national security council of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the current secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of which is Rear Admiral Upper Half Ali Shamkhani. He was appointed to position of secretary by the president Hassan Rouhani On 10 September 2013. The council for the protection and support of national interests and Islamic revolution and territorial integrity and national sovereignty of the country has been formed. This institution was founded during the 1989 revision of the constitution.

During hostage crisis

During the Iran hostage crisis, he had a "prominent role" and made "tough anti-American statements". According to the hostages, after Ahmad's visit to the then taken over embassy, he greeted the students and congratulated them for their action. Emphasizing on that some of the hostages were CIA agents based on the discovered documents, he repeated his father's threat "to put some of the captives on trial for spying" if the recently toppled Shah was "not returned to Iran." [5]

Iran hostage crisis diplomatic standoff between Iran and the United States, 1979–81

The Iran hostage crisis was a diplomatic standoff between the United States and Iran. Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981, after a group of Iranian college students belonging to the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line, who supported the Iranian Revolution, took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. It stands as the longest hostage crisis in recorded history.

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi 20th-century Shah of Iran

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, also known as Mohammad Reza Shah, was the last Shah of Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979. Mohammad Reza Shah took the title Shahanshah on 26 October 1967. He was the second and last monarch of the House of Pahlavi. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi held several other titles, including that of Aryamehr and Bozorg Arteshtaran ("Commander-in-Chief"). His dream of what he referred to as a "Great Civilisation" in Iran led to a rapid industrial and military modernisation, as well as economic and social reforms.

During Iran-Iraq war

During the war, he had an important role reporting government general issues to his father and relaying the Imam's messages to officials and others. He also used to act as counsel for his father and other high-ranking officials. [3]

Letter to Ayatollah Montazeri

On 29 April 1989, Ahmad Khomeini wrote a "more than three pages" letter addressing Ayatollah Monatzeri saying that he was regretful for Monatzeri's being heedless of "Imam's calls." [12] Producing a list of accusations, Ahmad Khomeini tried to show that Montazeri's leadership would be harmful to the revolution. "Was it not because of your affection for Mehdi Hashemi that you created so many problems for Islam and the revolution?" said Ahmad Khomeini in a part of the letter. [13] In response, Montazeri defended Mehdi Hashemi, an Iranian Shia cleric who was defrocked later, and said that he would "stay away from politics." [12]

Personal life

His wife was Fatemeh Soltani Tabatabai, daughter of Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Bagher Soltani Tabatabai Borujerdi, niece of Imam Musa Sadr, the Shia religious leader of Lebanon. [14] She was also the sister of Sadegh Tabatabai.


According to pro-government media, Ahmad Khomeini suffered a cardiac arrest on 12 March 1995, and went into a coma. He died five days later, on 17 March 1995, hours after being connected to life support machinery. [5] Iran government announced two days of national mourning after Ahmad Khomeini's death. [5] Ahmad Khomeini is entombed next to his father in a grand shrine south of Tehran, where his son, Hassan Khomeini, is the superintendent.

At least one author regarded his death as suspicious, stating that "he died in his sleep", without mentioning the heart attack five days prior and subsequent coma. [15] According to Assembly of the Forces of Imam's Line, the Tehran times reported that the rumors regarding Ahmad Khomeini's death was originally published by Alireza Nourizadeh, an alleged “British spy” according to the government. Under duress, his son, Hassan Khomeini “confirmed” this, calling the rumors "baseless" and repeated the claim that they were created by a “British spy.” [16]

However, non-government sources claim that Ahmad Khomeini was indeed killed after falling foul of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the then president, Hashemi Rafsanjani. [17] On multiple occasions, Hassan Khomeini himself publicly claimed that his father was poisoned by the Iranian intelligence agents with the help of pills that his father had received at the hospital. [18]


Ahmads's father, Ruhollah, described him as such:

"I bear witness that since the time my son Ahmad has entered the issues of the day, had contact with my works up to the present time I am writing these few lines, I have not experienced a single case of violation of my orders. In statements, communique and the like, he has not garbled or interfered in them without my satisfaction, nor has he attributed anything contrary to my words. In a word, I have not observed any offence from him." [3]

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Current supreme leader of Iran, described him as who solved many problems and did many things throughout the revolution. Khamenei called him capable and a unique and necessary element besides Khomeini. According to Ayatollah Mohammad Fazel Lankarani, Ahmad was a strong column, a capable arm for the government, supreme leader and the officials. [3]

See also

Related Research Articles

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani Iranian politician, Shia cleric and Writer

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was an influential Iranian politician, writer and one of the founding fathers of the Islamic Republic who was the fourth President of Iran from 3 August 1989 until 3 August 1997. He was the head of the Assembly of Experts from 2007 until 2011, when he decided not to nominate himself for the post. He was also the chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council.

Abdollah Nouri Iranian politician

Abdollah Noori is an Iranian cleric and reformist politician. Despite his "long history of service to the Islamic Republic," he became the most senior Islamic politician to be sentenced to prison since the Iranian Revolution when he was sentenced to five years in prison for political and religious dissent in 1999. He has been called the "bête noire" of Islamic conservatives in Iran.

Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani Iranian politician

Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani was an Iranian cleric, writer and conservative politician who was Acting Prime Minister of Iran from 2 September until 29 October 1981. Before that, he was Minister of Interior and Minister of Justice in the cabinets of Mohammad-Ali Rajai and Mohammad-Javad Bahonar. He was the leader of Combatant Clergy Association and Chairman of the Assembly of Experts and also founder and president of Imam Sadiq University.

The Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist, also called the Governance of the Jurist, is a post-Occultation theory in Shia Islam which holds that Islam gives a faqīh custodianship over people. Ulama supporting the theory disagree over how encompassing custodianship should be. One interpretation – Limited Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist – holds that guardianship should be limited to non-litigious matters including religious endowments (Waqf) judicial matters and the property for which no specific person is responsible. Another – Absolute Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist – maintains that Guardianship should include all issues for which ruler in the absence of Imams have responsibility, including governance of the country. The idea of guardianship as rule was advanced by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in a series of lectures in 1970 and now forms the basis of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The constitution of Iran calls for a faqih, or Vali-ye faqih, to serve as the Supreme Leader of the government. In the context of Iran, Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist is often referred to as "rule by the jurisprudent", or "rule of the Islamic jurist".

Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom

The Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom was founded in 1961 by the leading Muslim clerics of Qom, established by the students of Ayatollah Khomeini after his exile to Iraq in order to organize political activities of Khomeini's followers and promote his revolutionary interpretation of Islam such as the idea of Islamic government. Since the 1979 revolution, it has largely become the body to keep the regime's registrar of who counts as a grand ayatollah, an Ayatollah and a Hojjat ul Islam. It has a head who is appointed by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic. It currently heads the Supreme Council of Qom Hawzas, and proposes judges to the judiciary system. The body gained international prominence when it announced in 1981 that Ayatollah Shariatmadati was no longer a source of emulation (marja'). It has demoted a number of clerics over the last three decades. A recent case was that of Ayatollah Yousef Saanei who for his solidarity with the green movement was demoted from marja' to hojatoleslam. The Society also include Ayatollah Sistani on its list.

Mohammad-Reza Golpaygani Iranian grand ayatollah

Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Golpaygani was an Iranian Shia Islam cleric and marja. He was born in Gogad village, near the city of Golpaygan, Iran. He was taught preliminary studies by his father, Mohammad Bagher. At the age of 9, his father died, and he moved to Golpaygan to continue his studies. At the age of 20, he moved to Arak to study under Abdul-Karim Ha'eri Yazdi. After Ha'eri Yazdi and Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Khansari founded the hawza of Qom, he moved there and delivered lectures in the Islamic Seminary. He was one of the highest-ranking Islamic clergy to participate in the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and a one-time serious contender to succeed Ruhollah Khomeini as the Supreme Leader of Iran in 1989. However, his candidacy was voted down by the Assembly of Experts, in favor of the eventual successor and current leader, Ali Khamenei.

Clericalism in Iran

Clericalism in Iran has a long history and had remarkable impact on Iranian society, politics as well as on Islamic theology.

Hassan Khomeini Iranian cleric

Sayyid Hassan Khomeini is an Iranian cleric. He has been called "the most prominent" grandchild of Ruhollah Khomeini, who had 15 grandchildren in total and the one "who many think could have a promising political future".

Ayatollah Nematollah Salehi Najafabadi was an Iranian cleric and proponent of Islamic Unity, who spent most years after the Iranian revolution of 1979 under house arrest.

Prime ministership of Mir-Hossein Mousavi were the third and fourth government of Iran after the Iranian Revolution. At that time, Ali Khamenei was the president.

Supreme Leader of Iran Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Supreme Leader of Iran, also referred to as Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, but officially called the Supreme Leadership Authority, is the head of state as well as the ultimate political and religious authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The armed forces, judiciary, state television, and other key government organizations are subject to the Supreme Leader. The current longtime officeholder, Ali Khamenei, has been issuing decrees and making the final decisions on economy, environment, foreign policy, education, national planning, and everything else in Iran. Khamenei also makes the final decisions on the amount of transparency in elections, and has dismissed and reinstated presidential cabinet appointees. The Supreme Leader directly chooses the ministers of Defense, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs, as well as certain other ministers, such as the Science Minister. Iran's regional policy is directly controlled by the office of the Supreme Leader with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' task limited to protocol and ceremonial occasions. All of Iran's ambassadors to Arab countries, for example, are chosen by the Quds Corps, which directly report to the Supreme Leader.

Mohammad Montazeri Iranian activist, cleric and politician

Abbas Mohammad Montazeri was an Iranian cleric and military figure. He was one of the founding members and early chiefs of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. He was killed in a 1981 bombing in Tehran.

Ataollah Ashrafi Esfahani Iranian Ayatollah

Ayatollah Ata'ollah Ashrafi Esfahani was an Iranian religious leader. He was born near Esfahan and educated in Esfahan and at the Qom Seminary. He became a mojtahed when he was 40. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, he was selected as the Imam Jumu'ah for the city of Kermanshah. He was killed by a member of the Mujahideen-e Khalq during Friday prayer on 15 October 1982.

Ruhollah Khomeinis return to Iran

Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, known in the Western world as Ayatollah Khomeini, was an Iranian Shia Muslim religious leader, philosopher, revolutionary and politician. He was the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution that saw the overthrow of the Pahlavi monarchy and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. On 1 February 1979 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, returned to Iran after 14 years in political exile. Khomeini had been a prominent opponent of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who had fled the country during the events of the Iranian Revolution. Upon his return, he was greeted by crowds of millions, and within 10 days the revolution would be successful. Khomeini's return and the 10 days following are now celebrated in Iran as the Fajr decade.

1989 Iranian Supreme Leader election

The 1989 Iranian Supreme Leader election was an indirect election where the Assembly of Experts members voted to choose the second Supreme Leader of Iran. The election was held on June 4, 1989, the morning after Ruhollah Khomeini's death and Ali Khamenei was elected as his successor with 60 votes out of 74.

Seyed Javad Khamenei Seyed Javad Tabrizi is known as the Iranian Shia cleric. His father Seyyed Hossein Khamenei and his son Seyed Ali Khamenei, Iran's leaders. He was born in East Azerbaijan province Khamaneh functions and After several years of living in Khamenei, went to the seminary in Najaf and Qom and Mashhad after finishing his studies and settled in the vicinity of Ali ibn Musa (al-Ridha). He died on 6 July 1986 at the age of 90. He was the imam of the Mashhad in Turks mosque. He has three daughters from his first marriage. After the death of his first wife he with Khadija Mirdamadi, daughter of Hashem Mirdamadi Najaf Abadi married.That the marriage has 4 boys Sayed Mohammad Khamenei, Ali Khamenei, Hadi Khamenei and Sayyed Hassan Khamenei and a girl.

Death and state funeral of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

On 8 January 2017, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the fourth President of Iran and the country's Chairman of Expediency Discernment Council, died at the age of 82 after suffering a heart attack. He was transferred unconscious to a hospital in Tajrish, north Tehran. Attempts at cardiopulmonary resuscitation for more than an hour trying to revive him were unsuccessful and he died at 19:30 local time (UTC+3:30).

Seyed Ali Asghar Dastgheib Iranian cleric

Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Asghar Dastgheib is an Iranian Twelver Shia Marja and member of the Iranian Assembly of Experts. He was among those who advised Ruhollah Khomeini in probate matters.

Seyyed Hossein ayatollahi(Persian:سید حسین آیت‌اللهی) Shiite clergyman, Ruhollah Khomeini Representative in jahrom and Friday prayer was jahrom.""


  1. 1 2 3 4 Staff. "Imam highly trusted Seyyed Ahmad Khomeini". Imam Khomeini. Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini's Works.
  2. Alfoneh, Ali (2013), Iran Unveiled: How the Revolutionary Guards Is Transforming Iran from Theocracy into Military Dictatorship, AEI Press, p. 90
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Late Haj Sayyed Ahmad Khomeini; If someday our movement is not in accordance with that of the Wali, it's our fault". Tasnim News . Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  4. "In Islam and Revolution in the Middle East". Economist. 18 March 1989. p. 95. Retrieved 8 June 2016.  via General OneFile (subscription required)
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Pace, Eric (18 March 1995). "Ahmed Khomeini Is Dead; Son of Ayatollah Khomeini". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  6. Sayyed Ahmad Khomeini, IRIB.
  7. Timmerman, Kenneth R. (April 2002). "See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism". go.galegroup.com. Commentary. p. 70. Retrieved 8 June 2016.  via General OneFile (subscription required)
  8. 1 2 MOIN, BAQUER (18 March 1995). "OBITUARY:Ahmad Khomeini". The Independent. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  9. Mozaffari, Mahdi (1993). "Changes in the Iranian political system after Khomeini's death". Political Studies. XLI (4): 611–617. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9248.1993.tb01659.x.
  10. Sahimi, Mohammad (20 August 2009). "Nepotism & the Larijani Dynasty". PBS. Los Angeles. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  11. "Assignation of Hojatol Islam Sayyed Ahmad Khomeini to the membership of supreme council of cultural revolution". Leader.ir (in Persian). Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  12. 1 2 Suwaidi, Jamal S. (1996). Iran and the Gulf: A Search for Stability. I.B.Tauris. ISBN   9781860641442.
  13. Menashri, David (6 December 2012). Post-Revolutionary Politics in Iran: Religion, Society and Power. Routledge. ISBN   9781136333644 . Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  14. "Musa al Sadr: The Untold Story". Asharq Alawsat. 31 May 2008. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  15. Manouchehr Ganji (2002). Defying the Iranian Revolution: From a Minister to the Shah to a Leader of Resistance. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 109. ISBN   978-0-275-97187-8 . Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  16. Staff writers (15 March 2014). "The project of making Sayyed Ahmad's death suspicious". www.farhangnews.ir. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  17. Robert Tait (21 July 2009). "Grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini 'leaves Iran to avoid presidential inauguration'". TheGuardian. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  18. Shay, Shaul (19 October 2017). The Axis of Evil: Iran, Hizballah, and the Palestinian Terror. ISBN   9781351322461.
Political offices
New title Supreme Leader's Representative at SNSC
With: Hassan Rouhani
Title next held by
Ali Larijani