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Ali Bagheri Kani is an Iranian diplomat who is currently acting Minister of Foreign Affairs. (Photo: Mehr News agency, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Ali Bagheri Kani played a prominent role in the negotiations with Western powers, rising to become a pillar of Iran’s foreign ministry. 

Born in 1967, Ali Bagheri Kani is an Iranian politician and academic. 

He served as assistant foreign minister for political affairs and his name was associated with the negotiations related to Tehran’s nuclear program, as he had led his country’s negotiating team in Vienna and a number of Arab capitals and is considered politically conservative. 

Kani was an assistant to the Iranian chief negotiator Saeed Jalili. He played a prominent role in the negotiations with Western powers, rising to become a pillar of Iran’s foreign ministry. 

He became a deputy foreign minister and the foreign minister in May 2024 after the death of Amir Hossein-Abdollahian in a helicopter crash on May 19.

Upbringing

Born in 1967 in the Kann district, north of the capital Tehran, Ali Bagheri Kani grew up in a conservative religious family, the son of prominent cleric Mohammad Bagher Bagheri Kani, a former member of the Assembly of Experts who was also a member of Iran’s parliament.

His uncle is Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, Iran’s former prime minister, who headed the Assembly of Experts and was one of the most prominent conservative revolutionary figures.

His brother, Mesbah al-Huda Bagheri Kani, the son-in-law of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, married Hoda Khamenei and is considered one of the trusted figures in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Kani married a relative in 1997 and has two daughters.

Education 

Kani holds a PhD in Islamic Knowledge and Economics from Imam Sadiq University and is a student of his father, who was a professor at the same university, which was run by his uncle Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani.

Responsibilities

Bagheri Kani began his political career in 1989, when he was in his twenties, working in the General Secretariat of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran. 

In 1994, he moved to the Iranian Radio and Television Corporation as a political analyst in the newsroom of the Iranian Radio, and spent only several months in this institution.

He officially began his diplomatic activity in the Department of Arab and African Affairs at the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and then in the Department of European Affairs in 2005.

After the appointment of conservative politician Saeed Jalili as secretary of Iran’s National Security Council in 2007, Bagheri Kani moved alongside his old friend and served as assistant secretary of the council. He also became the second person in his country’s negotiating team on the nuclear file.

Nuclear Talks

The nuclear negotiations led by Saeed Jalili and Ali Bagheri Kani in 2013 under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ended without an agreement.

After Iran’s Supreme Leader appointed President Ebrahim Raisi as head of the judiciary in 2019, Ali Bagheri Kani became close to him and appointed him deputy head of the judiciary for international affairs.

He also appointed him secretary of human rights, replacing Mohammad Javad Larijani, who had held the post for 14 years. The Secretariat for Human Rights is the diplomatic organ of the judiciary.ù

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian appointed him as his assistant in political affairs, succeeding Abbas Araqchi in 2021 after Ebrahim Raisi’s victory in the presidential election.

He rose through the ranks of responsibility until he became deputy foreign minister.

He was appointed a foreign minister to succeed Amir-Abdollahian after the latter died along with Raisi and other figures in a helicopter crash on May 19, 2024, in Iran’s northwestern province of East Azerbaijan.

(AJA, PC) 

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