Open main menu

Saeed Jalili (Persian: سعید جلیلی‎; born September 1965) is an Iranian conservative politician and diplomat who was secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 2007 to 2013. He was also Iran's nuclear negotiator. He was previously deputy foreign minister for European and American Affairs. Jalili was an unsuccessful candidate in the June 2013 presidential election, placing third.

Saeed Jalili
Saeed Jalili 2013b.jpg
Jalili before 2013 presidential election
Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council
In office
20 October 2007 – 10 September 2013
PresidentMahmoud Ahmadinejad
Preceded byAli Larijani
Succeeded byAli Shamkhani
Chief Nuclear Negotiator of Iran
In office
21 October 2007 – 5 September 2013
PresidentMahmoud Ahmadinejad
DeputyAli Bagheri
Preceded byAli Larijani
Succeeded byJavad Zarif
Personal details
Born (1965-09-01) 1 September 1965 (age 53)
Mashhad, Iran
Political partyFront of Islamic Revolution Stability
Fatemeh Sajjadi (m. 1993)
ChildrenSajjad (Hamid)
ResidenceLavizan, Tehran[2]
Alma materImam Sadegh University
Military service
Allegiance Iran
Unit5th Nasr Division


Early life and educationEdit

Jalili was born on September 1965 in Mashhad in northeastern Iran.[3] He holds a PhD in political science from Imam Sadeq University and his doctoral thesis is entitled "The Foreign Policy of the Prophet Muhammad."[3] After graduating, he served in the Iran–Iraq War as a member of the Basij volunteers of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution.[3][4] During fighting he was injured severely, losing the lower portion of his right leg in 1986.[5][6] Upon this event he earned the title of "living martyr".[7]


Following the war, Jalili began working as a university lecturer at his alma mater. In 1989 Jalili began working at the ministry of foreign affairs in addition to his teaching post.[4] From 1995 to 1996 he served as director of the inspection office at the ministry.[8] In 2001, he was appointed senior director of policy planning in the office of supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.[4] Jalili was also made a member of the Supreme National Security Council in 2002. Following the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the presidency in August 2005, Jalili was appointed deputy foreign minister for European and American affairs.[8] He was in office until October 2007.[9] During the same period he also served as an advisor to Ahmedinejad.[10]

On 20 October 2007, Jalili replaced Ali Larijani as secretary of the council and became responsible for international negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.[9][11] Jalili's term as secretary of the council ended on 10 September 2013 when Ali Shamkhani was appointed to the post.[12] Immediately after leaving the office, he was appointed by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to the Expediency Council as a member.[13]

Views and activitiesEdit

Jalili is a leading figure of the "neo-principalist" group in the Iranian political scene and a protégé of Mojtaba Khamenei.[10][14] A United States State Department cable released by WikiLeaks in 2008 described how a European Union official who met Jalili call him 'a true product of the Iranian revolution'." Mohammad Marandi, a professor at Tehran University, described Jalili as a tough negotiator who "believes strongly in Iran's nuclear program and its sovereign rights. He's not the sort of person to give major concessions."[15]

In an interview with The Boston Globe in 2006, Jalili defended Iran's plans to develop nuclear energy, noting that, under the Shah and before the Islamic Revolution, US companies had contracts to build nuclear power plants in Iran. In 2013, Jalili stated that the 120 member states of the Non-Aligned Movement have repeatedly expressed support for Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear energy program.[16]

2013 presidential candidacyEdit

Jalili speaking for his campaign members in Mashhad

Jalili was a candidate in the 2013 presidential elections, announcing his candidacy on 22 March 2013.[17] He was supported by Front of Islamic Revolution Stability and also by Kamran Bagheri Lankarani, the party's main candidate who declined his candidacy in favor of Jalili. He fared poorly in the presidential election, placing 3rd, despite speculations that he was the favorite candidate of the Supreme Leader. He received 4,168,946 and was ranked third, behind president-elect Hassan Rouhani and runner up Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf.

Electoral historyEdit

Year Election Votes % Rank Notes
2004 Parliament Lost
2008 Parliament Lost
2013 President 4,168,946 11.31 3rd Lost

Personal lifeEdit

Jalili is fluent in English, and Arabic.[6] He married Fatemeh Sajjadi, a doctor of internal medicine, in 1992. They have one child, a son named Hamid. Jalili was a resident of Karaj until 2004. He is known for his simple living and aversion towards formality. He drives his own car to work.[18]


  • Foreign Policy of the Prophet of Islam (Persian: سیاست خارجی پیامبر اسلام‎)
  • Islamic Thought in Quran (Persian: اندیشه اسلامی در قرآن‎)


In 2009, Jalili was regarded as one of the 500 most influential Muslims by Georgetown University's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.[19]


  1. ^ "تمام اطلاعات خانوادگی کاندیداهای ریاست جمهوری یازدهم". Isna. 13 January 2014.
  2. ^ "تمام اطلاعات خانوادگی کاندیداهای ریاست جمهوری یازدهم".تمام-اطلاعات-خانوادگی-کاندیداهای-ریاست-جمهوری. Isna. 13 January 2014. External link in |website= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  3. ^ a b c Saeed Jalili PressTV, 22 May 2013
  4. ^ a b c Vatanka, Alex (21 September 2012). "Khamenei and Iran's 2013 elections". Middle East Institute. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  5. ^ Anti-West Hard-Liner Gains in Iranian Race Thomas Erdbrink, New York Times, 28 May 2013
  6. ^ a b "Biographies of Eight Qualified Candidates for Iran Presidential Election". Iran Review. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  7. ^ Garrett Nada; Helia Ighani (11 June 2013). "Old War Haunts New Election". United State Institute of Peace. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Iran's approved presidential candidates". CBS News. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Iran's Top Nuclear Negotiator Ali Larijani Resigns". Fox News. AP. 20 October 2007. Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  10. ^ a b Frederic Wehrey; Jerrold D. Green; Brian Nichiporuk; Alireza Nader; Lydia Hansell; Rasool Nafisi; S. R. Bohandy (2009). "The Rise of the Pasdaran" (PDF). RAND Corporation. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  11. ^ Posch, Walter (November 2007). "Only personal? The Larijani Crisis Revisited" (PDF). Policy Brief (3). Retrieved 17 June 2013.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Rouhani Appointed Former Defense Minister as the Secretary of NSC". Nasim Online. 10 September 2013. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  13. ^ "Jalili appointed to the Expediency Council". Iran Daily Brief. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  14. ^ Sabet, Farzan (June 2013). "The Islamic Republic's political elite and Syria" (PDF). IranPolitik. Archived from the original (Special Report) on 11 July 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  15. ^ Iran's negotiator – rigid ideologue close to Khamenei Marcus George, Reuters, 25 February 2013
  16. ^ Jalili: Iran’s successful resistance against foes due to culture, diplomacy Press TV, 5 June 2013
  17. ^ "Potential Candidates". Iran Election Watch. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  18. ^ Biography: Jalili Parssea
  19. ^ "The 500 Most Influential Muslims" (PDF). Center of Muslim-Christian Understanding. 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2013.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Ali Larijani
Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council
Succeeded by
Ali Shamkhani
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Ali Larijani
Chief Nuclear Negotiator of Iran
Succeeded by
Mohammad Javad Zarif