Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces

Last updated
Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces
Commander-in-chief role
Emblem of Iran.svg
Sixth International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada, Tehran (33).jpg
Ali Khamenei

since 4 June 1989
Vested in Supreme Leader of Iran
StyleSupreme Commander [1]
StatusUltimate authority of the military
Residence House of Leadership
Seat Tehran
Constituting instrument Iranian Constitution
Deputy Minister of Interior (Police) [2]

Farmandeye Koll-e Qova (Persian : فرمانده کل قوا), formerly known as Bozorg Arteshtaran (Persian : بزرگ‌ارتشتاران), is the supreme commanding authority of all the Armed Forces of Iran and the highest possible military position within the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to the Constitution of Iran, the position is vested in the Supreme Leader of Iran and is held since 1981.


List of Commanders-in-Chief

After the Persian Constitutional Revolution

No.PortraitNameTerm of officeLength of termMilitary rankService Branch
Flag of Qajar (1910-1925).png Sublime State of Persia (1906–1925) • Imperial Emblem of the Qajar Dynasty (Lion and Sun).svg
1 Persia past and present; a book of travel and research, with more than two hundred illustrations and a map (1906) (14763794285).jpg Shah
Mozaffar ad-Din Shah
6 August 19063 January 1907150 daysN/AN/A
2 Mohammad Ali Shah.jpg Shah
Mohammad Ali Shah
3 January 190716 July 19092 years, 194 daysN/AN/A
Ali RezaKhanAzodalMolk.jpg Regent
Alireza Khan
16 July 1909 [3] 22 September 19101 year, 56 daysN/AN/A
Abolqasem.jpg Regent
Abolqasem Khan
22 September 1910 [3] 21 July 19143 years, 314 daysN/AN/A
3 AhmadShahQajar2.jpg Shah
Ahmad Shah
21 July 1914 [3] 14 February 192511 years, 147 daysN/AN/A
4 Rezashah.jpg Prime Minister
Reza Khan [lower-alpha 1]
14 February 1925 [4] 15 December 1925304 days Brigadier general Persian Cossack Brigade
Flag of Iran (1964–1980).svg Imperial State of Iran (1925–1979) • Imperial Coat of Arms of Iran.svg
1 Reza Shah Pahlavi Official Portrait - Colorized 2.jpg Shah
Reza Shah
15 December 192516 September 194115 years, 275 days Brigadier general Persian Cossack Brigade
2 Shahanshah1333.jpg Shah
Mohammad Reza Shah
16 September 194121 July 195210 years, 309 days Captain [5] Imperial Iranian Army
(1936–1941) [5]
3 Dr Mohammad Mosaddeq.jpg Prime Minister
Mohammad Mossadegh [lower-alpha 2]
21 July 195219 August 19531 year, 29 daysN/AN/A
(2) Mohammad Reza Pahlavi 2.jpg Shah
Mohammad Reza Shah
19 August 195311 February 197925 years, 176 days Captain Imperial Iranian Army
Flag of Iran.svg Islamic Republic of Iran (1980–present) • Emblem of Iran.svg
1 Abolhassan Banisadr sign.jpg President
Abolhassan Banisadr [lower-alpha 3]
19 February 1980 [8] 10 June 1981 [9] 1 year, 111 daysN/AN/A
2 Portrait of Ruhollah Khomeini By Mohammad Sayyad.jpg Supreme Leader
Ruhollah Khomeini
10 June 19813 June 19897 years, 358 daysN/AN/A
3 Ali Khamenei crop.jpg Supreme Leader
Ali Khamenei
4 June 1989present29 years, 232 daysN/A [lower-alpha 4] Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
(24 November 1979–24 February 1980) [10]


  1. Appointed by the Parliament of Iran. [4]
  2. Mossadegh was granted emergency powers by Shah of Iran to rule by decree. [6] While holding office as the Prime Minister and Minister of War (renamed to "Ministry of National Defence") simultaneously, Mossadegh went over the authority of Shah the Commander-in-Chief vetted in the Persian Constitution of 1906 and appointed commanders in Imperial Iranian Army and Police. [7]
  3. Delegated by the Supreme Leader of Iran. [8]
  4. He was caretaker of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the highest position in the corps. [10] At the time military ranks were not used.
  1. If the Enemy Attacks, He Will Receive a Severe Blow and Counterattacks: Ayatollah Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader, 28 August 2016, retrieved 20 April 2018, Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Commander of All Armed Forces, met Sunday afternoon with the commanders and officials...
  2. Saeid Golkar (5 January 2018), Iran's Coercive Apparatus: Capacity and Desire (Policywatch) (2909), The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, retrieved 20 April 2018, The police are under the control of the Interior Ministry, which the constitution has placed under the president's purview. Yet the head of the NAJA is appointed by the Supreme Leader and serves as commander-in-chief of Iran's armed forces, effectively limiting the interior minister's authority to logistical, equipment, and support issues.
  3. 1 2 3 Sheikh-ol-Islami, M. J. (July 28, 2011) [December 15, 1984]. "AḤMAD SHAH QĀJĀR". In Yarshater, Ehsan. Encyclopædia Iranica . 6. I. New York City: Bibliotheca Persica Press. pp. 657–660. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  4. 1 2 Elton L. Daniel (2012). The History of Iran. ABC-CLIO. p. 136. ISBN   0313375097.
  5. 1 2 Ali Akbar Dareini (1998). The Rise and Fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty: Memoirs of Former General Hussein Fardust. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. pp. 15–16. ISBN   8120816420.
  6. James Buchan (2013). Days of God: The Revolution in Iran and Its Consequences. Simon and Schuster. p. 64. ISBN   1416597778.
  7. John Prados (2006). Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA. Ivan R. Dee. pp. 102–103. ISBN   1615780114.
  8. 1 2 Sinkaya, Bayram (2015), The Revolutionary Guards in Iranian Politics: Elites and Shifting Relations, Iranian Studies, 25, Routledge, p. 96, ISBN   9781317525646
  9. Sinkaya, Bayram (2015), The Revolutionary Guards in Iranian Politics: Elites and Shifting Relations, Iranian Studies, 25, Routledge, p. 88, ISBN   9781317525646
  10. 1 2 Detailed biography of Ayatollah Khamenei, Leader of Islamic Revolution,, retrieved 17 March 2016