Ali Akbar Salehi

Ali Akbar Salehi (Persian: علی‌اکبر صالحی‎, pronunciation ; born 24 March 1949) is an Iranian academic, diplomat and the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. He served as head of AEOI from 2009 to 2010 and was appointed to the post for a second time on 16 August 2013. Before his appointment of his current position, he was foreign affairs minister from 2010 to 2013. He was also the Iranian representative in the International Atomic Energy Agency from 1998 to 2003.

Ali Akbar Salehi
Ali Akbar Salehi in Fars news agency office - 3 October 2010 (cropped)
6th Head of Atomic Energy Organization
Assumed office
16 August 2013
PresidentHassan Rouhani
Preceded byFereydoon Abbasi
In office
16 July 2009 – 13 December 2010
PresidentMahmoud Ahmadinejad
Preceded byGholam Reza Aghazadeh
Succeeded byMohammad Ahmadian
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
30 January 2011 – 15 August 2013
Acting: 13 December 2010 – 30 January 2011
PresidentMahmoud Ahmadinejad
Preceded byManouchehr Mottaki
Succeeded byMohammad Javad Zarif
Personal details
Born24 March 1949 (age 69)
Karbala, Iraq
Spouse(s)Zahra Rada[1]
RelativesJawad Salehi (brother)
Ali Akbar Salehi's signature
Academic background and work
FieldsNuclear engineering
Nuclear physics
Alma materAmerican University of Beirut
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
ThesisResonance Region Neutronics of Unit Cells in Fast and Thermal Reactors (1977)
Doctoral advisorMichael J. Driscoll
InstitutionsSharif University of Technology
Imam Khomeini International University

Early life and education

Salehi was born in Karbala, Iraq, on 24 March 1949 to ethnic Persian parents.[5] He received a bachelor of science degree in physics from the American University of Beirut in 1971 and a PhD in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1977.[6][7][8] Salehi is fluent in English and Arabic, in addition to his native Persian.[9]


MSC 2013 Wuest Panel10Uhr Salehi 0014
Salehi speaking at Munich Security Conference

Salehi is full professor and was chancellor of the Sharif University of Technology[10] and a member of the Academy of Sciences of Iran and the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy. He served as the chancellor of the Sharif University of Technology[6] from 1982 to 1985 and once again from 1989 to 1993. While chancellor, Salehi was involved in an attempt to obtain dual-use technologies from a European supplier, according to David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security, citing some 1,600 telex documents from the 1990s.[11] He was also chancellor of Imam Khomeini International University for two years (1988–1989).

Bilateral Nuclear Talks - Ernest Moniz-John Kerry-Mohammad Javad Zarif-Ali Akbar Salehi
Salehi as head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran along with FM Zarif, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, in the "Salon Élysée" of the Beau-Rivage Palace (Lausanne, Switzerland), 16 March 2015

An ISIS (Institute for Science and International Security) report claims the Physics Research Center acted as a front in the late 1980s and early 1990s to obtain illicit nuclear technologies. ISIS claims that, as head of Sharif University, was aware of purchases.[12]

Salehi was appointed as permanent representative of Iran to International Atomic Energy Agency by the then president Mohammad Khatami on 13 March 1997 and remained in the post until 22 August 2005. On 18 December 2003, Salehi signed the Additional Protocol to the safeguard agreement, on behalf of Iran. He was replaced by Pirooz Hosseini.

Salehi was deputy secretary-general of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference under Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu from 2007 to 2009. He resigned on 16 July 2009 when then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appointed Salehi as the new head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, replacing Gholam Reza Aghazadeh who resigned on 10 July. Salehi resigned from office on 23 January 2011 when Ahmadinejad nominated him as foreign minister.

On 13 December 2010, Ahmadinejad dismissed Manouchehr Mottaki for unknown reasons and appointed Salehi in an acting capacity.[13] On 23 January 2011, Ahmadinejad nominated Salehi to become foreign minister. The Iranian Parliament voted him on 30 January and he became the foreign minister of Iran, gaining 146 positive votes.[14] The European Union and the Treasury of the United Kingdom had put Salehi into the sanction list as an asset freeze target on 18 November 2009 due to his previous involvement in Iran's nuclear programme.[15] The EU waived this designation when he became foreign minister in 2010.[16] His term as foreign minister ended on 15 August 2013 when Mohammad Javad Zarif took the position in the elected President Hassan Rouhani's government.[17] A day after, Rouhani appointed Salehi as head of Atomic Energy Organization for a second time on 16 August 2013.[7][17] Salehi replaced Fereydoon Abbasi in the post.[18]


As the head of the AEOI when Iran was facing increased scrutiny in light of International Atomic Energy Agency findings, Salehi was designated for financial sanctions and travel restrictions by the European Union and the United Kingdom.[15][19] Salehi and Ernest Moniz joined 2015 Geneva Iran and P5+1 nuclear talks to discuss more about technical aspects of Iran nuclear program.[20] Salehi has been selected among the ten people who mattered the year 2015 by Nature magazine because of his role in nuclear talks.[21]

See also


  1. ^ همسر علی‌اکبر صالحی در اردن +عکس
  2. ^ گفت و گوی دوستانه با علی اکبر صالحی
  3. ^ "Iran's FM, nuclear chief, DM receive medals for role in nuclear deal". Iranian Students' News Agency. 8 February 2016. Archived from the original on 31 May 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  4. ^ نشان‌های دولتی در روزهای پایانی خاتمی و احمدی‌نژاد به چه‌کسانی رسید؟. Tasnim News Agency (in Persian). 24 August 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  5. ^ Boroujerdi, Mehrzhad (31 January 2011). "Iran's New Foreign Minister: Ali Akbar Salehi". PBS. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  6. ^ a b Kambiz Tavana; Arash Karami (1 December 2011). "The Man to Watch in Iran?". PBS. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  7. ^ a b "President appoints Salehi as Nuclear Energy Organization Chief". IRNA. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  8. ^
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Elsevier SCIENTIA IRANICA Archived 3 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  11. ^ "US nuclear expert: Iranian FM Salehi linked to past program". The Jerusalem Post. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  12. ^ Zakaria, Tabassum (15 May 2012). "U.S. nuclear expert: Iran official linked to past program". Reuters. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  13. ^ Theodoulou, Michael (14 December 2010). "Ahmadinejad fires foreign minister on overseas trip". The National. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  14. ^ "Parliament Okays Salehi as Iran's New Foreign Minister". Fars News. 30 January 2011. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  15. ^ a b "Asset Freeze Targets" (PDF). HM Treasury. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  16. ^ Ben Weinthal (6 July 2012).“Cyprus detains Iran FM due to old sanctions” The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  17. ^ a b Khalaj, Monavar (15 August 2013). "Iran parliament approves new president's cabinet nominees". Financial Times. Tehran. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  18. ^ "Iran Parliament approves big Rouhani cabinet nominees, rejects 3". Hurriyet. Dubai. Reuters. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  19. ^ Iranian FM, a driving force behind the nuclear program, visits New York, Realite, 20 September 2011
  20. ^ "Iran sends high-level negotiators to Geneva nuclear talks". Reuters. 21 February 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  21. ^ "365 days: Nature's 10 Ten people who mattered this year". Nature. 17 December 2015.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Mohammad Sadegh Ayatollahi
Ambassador of Iran to the IAEA
Succeeded by
Pirooz Hosseini
Political offices
Preceded by
Gholam Reza Aghazadeh
Head of Atomic Energy Organization
Succeeded by
Mohammad Ahmadian
Preceded by
Manouchehr Mottaki
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Mohammad Javad Zarif
Preceded by
Fereydoon Abbasi
Head of Atomic Energy Organization
Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by
Abbas Anvari
Chancellor of Sharif University of Technology
Succeeded by
Abbas Anvari
Preceded by
Mahmoud Boroujerdi
Chancellor of Imam Khomeini International University
Succeeded by
Gholamreza Shirazian
Preceded by
Abbas Anvari
Chancellor of Sharif University of Technology
Succeeded by
Mohammad Etemadi
Abbas Anvari

Abbas Anvari is an Iranian Professor in Physics. He has a Ph.D. in physics from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. He served as the chancellor of Sharif University of Technology for two terms: 1980–1982 and 1985–1989.

Alireza Tahmasbi

Alireza Tahmasebi (Persian: علیرضا طهماسبی‎, born 1961) is Iran's former Minister of Industry and Mines. He resigned on the 10 of August 2007.

He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Université Laval. His master's degree was from Shiraz University.

Atomic Energy Organization of Iran

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) is the main official body responsible for implementing regulations and operating nuclear energy installations in Iran.

It is headquartered in northern Amir Abad district in Tehran, but has facilities throughout the country. The organization is currently headed by Ali Akbar Salehi, who was named to replace Fereydoon Abbasi 15 August 2013.

Ebrahim Azizi

Ebrahim Azizi (Born in Kermanshah) is an Iranian politician.He was a member and spokesman of the Guardian Council. He also served as a representative of Kermanshah in the Iranian parliament.

Fatemeh Javadi

Fatemeh Javadi (Persian: فاطمه جوادی‎, born 1959) is a conservative Iranian politician who was Vice President of Iran from 2005 to 2009. She is the niece of Ayatollah Javadi Amoli.

Fereydoon Abbasi

Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani (Persian: فریدون عباسی دوانی‎; born 11 July 1958) is an Iranian nuclear scientist who was head of Atomic Energy Organization from 2011 to 2013. He survived an assassination attempt in 2010, but was seriously wounded.

Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant

Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP) is a uranium enrichment facility located 20 miles (32 km) northeast of the Iranian city of Qom, near Fordow village. The site was revealed in September 2009. It is the second Iranian uranium enrichment facility, the other one being that of Natanz.

In January 2012 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that Iran had started producing uranium enriched up to 20% for medical purposes and that material "remains under the agency's containment and surveillance.”Google Maps satellite images for the Fordow site can be found at coordinates 34.885649,50.99669. Images zoomed to the 20 meter level show a large double fence perimeter border erected around the site with towers located every 25 meters. Six 10 meter wide entry portals to the complex are located within the fenced area, as well as several buildings, the largest of which is approximately 5,500 square metres (59,000 sq ft).

Iranian authorities state the facility is built deep in a mountain because of repeated threats by Israel to attack such facilities, which Israel believes can be used to produce nuclear weapons. However, attacking a nuclear facility so close to the city of Qom which is considered so holy between Shia Muslims brings concern of a potential risk of a Shiite religious response.In November 2013, hundreds of Iranians, mostly students of Sharif University of Technology, accompanied by Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, and several Majles (parliament) representatives formed a human chain around Fordow uranium enrichment facility.The Fordow plant was to be restructured to less intensive research use, as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of April 2015.

Under the terms of the nuclear agreement with Iran, two-thirds of the centrifuges inside Fordo have been removed in recent months, along with all nuclear material. The facility is banned from any nuclear-related work and is being converted to other uses, eliminating the threat that prompted the attack plan, at least for the next 15 years.

In 2016, Iran stationed anti-aircraft S-300 missile system at the site.

Hamid Behbahani

Hamid Behbahani (Persian: حمید بهبهانی‎, born 7 August 1935) is an Iranian academic and politician who served as minister of roads and transportation from 2 August 2008 to 1 February 2011 when he was impeached by the Parliament of Iran.

Jamal Karimi-Rad

Jamal Karimi-Rad (1956 – 28 December 2006) (Persian: جمال کریمی راد‎) was the Minister of Justice of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

List of Iranian officials

This is a list of Iranian officials with their titles.

List of Sharif University of Technology people

This is a list of notable alumni and faculty members of the Sharif University of Technology by profession.

Manouchehr Mottaki

Manouchehr Mottaki (Persian: منوچهر متکی‎; born 12 May 1953) is an Iranian politician and diplomat. He was the Iranian minister of foreign affairs. Whilst technically appointed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he is considered to be closer to more pragmatic conservative factions and during the 2005 presidential election, he was the campaign manager of Ali Larijani, the conservative candidate. He was also a presidential candidate in the 2013 presidential election, but withdrew before the polling began. It was rumored that his nomination was rejected by Guardian Council, which he denied.


Iraqi Moaveds (Persian: معاودین عراقی‎) are a group of 350,000-650,000 Iraqis of Persian ancestry who were deported from Iraq by the Ba'ath dictatorship because of their Iranian ancestry. Thousands of Shi'ah of Iranian origin but whose families had resided for generations in the Shi'ah religious centers of Karbala and Najaf, were expelled from Iraq, in the early 1970s and before Iraq-Iran war. The exact number of this group is not clear and ranging from 350,000 to 650,000. Many of them who could prove an Iranian origin in the court get Iranian citizenship (400,000) and some of them returned to Iraq after Saddam.Many Iraqi Moaveds hold or have held high positions in the government of Islamic Republic of Iran such as Shahroudi (head of Judicial system of Iran), General Mohammad Reza Naqdi (commander of the Basij paramilitary force), Hamid-Reza Assefi and Ali Akbar Salehi (Minister of Foreign Affairs).

Mohammad-Javad Mohammadizadeh

Mohammad-Javad Mohammadizadeh (born 1951) is an Iranian politician who was Vice President and Head of Environmental Protection Organization of Iran from August 2009 when he replaced Fatemeh Javadi until September 2013. He was formerly Governor of Razavi Khorasan Province.

Mohammad Ahmadian

Dr. Mohammad Ahmadian (Persian: محمد احمدیان‎, born 1956) is an Iranian politician and academic and the current Deputy Head of Atomic Energy Organization. He was also Head of Organization for three weeks after Ali Akbar Salehi became Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was succeed by Fereydoon Abbasi.

Mohammad Soleimani

Mohammad Soleimani (born 1954) is an Iranian politician and former Minister of Communication and Information Technology (2005-2009). He is also an electrical engineer and a professor at Iran University of Science and Technology. He was born in Kazerun.

Ruhollah Ahmadzadeh

Ruhollah Ahmadzadeh (Persian: روح‌الله احمدزاده‎; born 2 January 1979 in Qom) is an Iranian conservative politician.

Sadeq Khalilian

Sadeq Khalilian (born 1959) is an Iranian economist, academic and politician who served as agriculture minister from 2009 to 2013 in the government headed by Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.


Salehi (Persian: صالحی‎) is an Iranian surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Ali Akbar Salehi, Iranian academic and politician

Ataollah Salehi, Iranian general

Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, Iranian economist

Jahan Salehi, Iranian-American entrepreneur

Jawad Salehi, Iranian electrical and computer engineer

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