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July 01 2021

Policy Briefs

Who is Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei?

On Thursday, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei officially designated Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei as Iran’s next Chief Justice, a role currently occupied by president-elect Ebrahim Raisi. In a virtual decree, Khamenei recognized Mohseni-Ejei’s “deep knowledge and brilliant record as a judge.” In reality, Mohseni-Ejei has a long and bloody record of egregious human rights violations. 

From 1986 to 1988, Mohseni-Ejei served as the Representative of the Revolutionary Prosecutor in the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), playing an intimate role in the country’s 1988 prison massacre. This event, labeled an an ongoing crime against humanity by Amnesty International, included the murder of more than 5,000 political dissidents.

In his role as Deputy Prosecutor of the Special Court of Clergy in 1995, Mohseni-Ejei oversaw the “Chain Murders,” a wave of violent state oppression that ended with the sham prosecution and arbitrary killing of dozens of Iranian intellectuals and writers. 

While serving as head of the Special Clerical Court, Mohseni-Ejei publicly assaulted a journalist with a jar of sugar before proceeding to bite him. In 2005, he assumed the position of Minister of Intelligence under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In this capacity, Mohseni-Ejei supervised the mass forced confessions, torture, and arrests of Green Movement protestors. 

The amalgamation of these crimes has resulted in widespread sanctioning from the international community. The United States originally sanctioned Ejei via executive order in 2010 and added him to the SDN list for his violent abuse of protestors following the disputed 2009 Iranian election. The European Union followed America’s lead in 2011, and Ejei was banned from entering all EU countries. In 2020, the United States sanctioned Ejei again for continued human rights violations.

Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei Timeline

  • Head of the Ministry of Intelligence’s Select Committee (1984-1985)
  • Representative of the Judiciary to the Minister of Intelligence (1986-1988)
    • Major involvement in the 1988 prison massacres
  • Head of the Prosecutor’s Office for Economic Affairs (1989-1990)
  • Representative of the Judiciary to the Minister of Intelligence (1991-1994)
  • Prosecutor of the Special Clerical Court (1998-2005)
  • Minister of Intelligence on August 24, 2005 and remained in office until July 26, 2009
    • Green Movement, 2009
      • Protestors were arrested, tried in what has been referred to as “kangaroo courts” and sentenced to extensive prison sentences.
      • Attorney-General of Iran (2009-2014)
  • Sanctioned by the United States in 2010
  • Sanctioned by the EU in 2011
  • Sanctioned by the United States for the second time in 2020
  • First Vice Chief Justice of Iran (2014-July 2021)
  • Chief Justice of Iran (July 1, 2021-Present)