Profile: Saeed Jalili, Ex-Nuclear Negotiator, Security Body Chief

By Press TV Website Staff

Iran’s Constitutional Council, a 12-member election supervisory body, has approved six candidates to run in Iran’s upcoming presidential election slated for June 28.

Among those whose candidature has been approved is Saeed Jalili, a former lead nuclear negotiator and head of the Supreme National Security Council, the top security body of the country.

Jalili was one of the first to register as a contender for the presidency on May 30.

After joining the race, he told the media that the country faces a “historic opportunity” that must not be ignored, emphasizing that the next president must understand the nation’s rich capital.

The presidential election is scheduled for June 28, following a two-week campaign period and televised debates that would be hosted by the state broadcaster IRIB.

A veteran politician and administrator, Jalili has held many important roles throughout his public life.

He was born in the northeastern city of Mashhad in 1965 to Mohammad Hassan Jalili, a French language teacher and principal. His mother was from Ardabil, a city in northern Iran.

Jalili completed his primary and secondary education in his hometown Mashhad.

During the West-backed Iraqi war against Iran in the 1980s, he served on the battlefields, where he was severely wounded in 1986, resulting in the loss of part of his right leg.

Jalili formally began his diplomatic and political career in 1989 by joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Between 1991 and 1996, he headed the ministry's Inspection Office, and in 1998 he was appointed deputy director of the Department for North and Central America.

In 2001, he was appointed director of policy planning in the Office of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.

He also attended Imam Sadiq University in Tehran, where he completed his doctoral thesis, "The Paradigm of Political Thought of Islam in the Holy Qur’an," which later became the book "The Foreign Policy of the Prophet of Islam."

For several years, Jalili taught political science at Imam Sadiq University.

In 1992, he married Fatemeh Sajjadi, with whom he has a son, Sajjad.

From 2007 to 2013, Jalili served as the secretary of the country’s top security body and also as the lead negotiator with Western states on Iran's nuclear program.

He is remembered as a firm and meticulous negotiator who did not make concessions.

Jalili was a fierce critic of the 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers, believing that Iran should not make concessions and that economic development should not depend on foreign will.

After leaving office in 2013, he was appointed to the Expediency Council by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

In the 2013 presidential election, he ran with the slogan "A Virtuous Life," finishing third with over four million votes.

He ran again for the presidency in 2021 but withdrew in favor of Ebrahim Raeisi, who eventually won by a landslide.

Upon filing his nomination on May 30, Jalili praised President Raeisi and outlined his political views.

He emphasized the importance of recognizing the election’s significance and appreciating the nation's potential. Jalili cited US officials' admission that Washington's policy of "maximum pressure" had failed, arguing that Iran faces a historic opportunity.

Jalili stressed the need for "pin-point decisions" focused on priorities and justice, ensuring every Iranian's right to participate in the country's progress.

He highlighted the necessity of maximum public participation to achieve growth and success.

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