Zahra Mostafavi Khomeini

Sayyida Zahra Mostafavi Khomeini (Persian: زهرا مصطفوی خمینی‎; born November 13, 1940) is an Iranian politician and educator. The daughter of Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian Revolution and subsequent Supreme Leader of Iran, Mostafavi was awarded a PhD in philosophy from the University of Tehran, where she subsequently taught.[1][2] Mostafavi has been called the "most prominent" of Khomeini's three daughters, and has become a prominent supporter of women's rights in Iran in addition to Palestinian causes.[3]

Zahra Mostafavi Khomeini
Zahra Mostafavi Khomeini 2018 2.jpg
Mostafavi in November 2018
Born (1940-11-13) 13 November 1940 (age 80)
Mahmoud Boroujerdi
(m. 1962; died 2010)
RelativesRuhollah Khomeini (father)
Khadijeh Saqafi (mother)
In the conference of "Commemoration of Lady of Islamic Republic", April 2015.

Political positionsEdit

Women's rightsEdit

Mostafavi has spoken out in favour of women wearing the hijab, stating it "immunises them from abuse and protects families... if men know there is no question of anything outside the family, they will be more loyal to their wives". She also supports women having the equal right alongside men to enter the fields of politics, academics, and education.[4] Mostafavi serves as Secretary General of the Association of the Women of the Islamic Republic, an organisation advocating for women's participation in Iranian politics.[5]

Ayatollah KhomeiniEdit

Mostafavi has publicly praised her father and in particular his stance on women's rights, stating his wish for women to play a "full part" in Iranian society and never demanded that her mother do chores on his behalf.[6]

Iran-United States relationsEdit

Mostafavi has demonstrated a hardline approach on relations between Iran and the United States, saying in 2009 she was "not interested in negotiations with the US".[4]

2009 presidential electionEdit

In the contested 2009 Iranian presidential election, Mostafavi was reported to have endorsed Mir-Hossein Mousavi.[3] The election was ultimately won by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Israel-Palestine conflictEdit

Mostafavi is a proponent of Palestinian statehood and has warned against Iran normalising relations with Israel.[7] She is also proactive in Palestinian causes, serving as the leader of the Iran-based Society for Defending the Palestinian Nation.[1][2]

2013 presidential electionEdit

Following the exclusion of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from standing in the 2013 Iranian presidential election by the Guardian Council, Mostafavi wrote a public letter to her father's successor as Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, urging for Rafsanjani's reinstatement as a candidate to prevent the formation of a dictatorship.[8] The decision was upheld, and the election was ultimately won by Hassan Rouhani.


  1. ^ a b Mankind’s Need for Religion and Spirituality, Zahra Mostafavi Accessed August 23, 2009
  2. ^ a b Imam Showed The Path , His Thoughts Relevant Still Sun, Jun 3, 2007. Accessed August 23, 2009
  3. ^ a b "Khamenei vs. Khomeini" by Ali Reza Eshraghi, August 20, 2009. accessed August 23, 2009
  4. ^ a b ‘We believe we are on the right track and victory will be ours,’ Seema Chishti June 12, 2009. accessed August 23, 2009
  5. ^ Eshraghi, Ali Reza (August 20, 2009). "Khamenei vs. Khomeini". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  6. ^ Lipstick revolution: Iran's women are taking on the mullahs. Katherine Butler. February 26, 2009. Accessed August 23, 2009
  7. ^ "Late Imam Khomeini's daughter warns against normalization tie". The Iran Project. September 13, 2020. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  8. ^ "Khomeini's Daughter Calls On Supreme Leader To Reinstate Rafsanjani". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved April 24, 2021.