Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf’s record as a Revolutionary Guards air force commander, a war veteran and a national police chief has endeared him to Iran’s supreme leader and boosted his chances of becoming the next speaker of parliament after the recent election.
Qalibaf was born on 23 August 1961 in the Razavi Khorasan Province, a province located in northeastern Iran.
At the age of 18 and after the 1979 Revolution, he joined the Basij Troops. During the unrest in Kurdistan, he played a key role in suppressing the people of Kurdistan.
At the age of 19, he was one of the commanders of the defense forces during the Iran–Iraq War.
Shortly afterwards he was named commander of the Rasulollah division.
By the time he was twenty-two, he was already commander of the Nasr Troops.
After the war he was selected as Deputy Commander of the Resistance Force and Basij Troops.
In 1998, when Mohsen Rezaei retired and Yahya Rahim Safavi took over as IRGC’s new commander-in-chief, he was named Commander of Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Qalibaf became one of the senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in later years.
In 1984, he was appointed head of the Khatam al-Anbia Construction Headquarters, which is the engineering arm of the IRGC.
Qalibaf had a direct role in repressing and carrying out violence against student protesters in July 1999, July 2003.
Following the 1999 protests, he was appointed as chief of the Iranian Police Forces by the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
Qalibaf is also accused of embezzlement and astronomical thefts in Tehran Municipality.
On May 28, 2020, Iran’s new parliament elected Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf as its new speaker.
Positions of Mohammad Baqir Qalibaf
Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf has 40 years of experience in military, political, economic, policing, and urban management.
Nonetheless, he is best known for being implicated in major financial corruption cases:
- Commander of Imam Reza Brigade – 1982
- Commander of the 5th Nasr Division of Khorasan – 1983
- Deputy Commander of the IRGC in the west of the country – 1987
- Commander of Najaf base in Kermanshah – 1987
- Commander of the 3rd country region – 1988
- Commander of the 25th Karbal Division in Mazandaran Province – 1989
- Chief of Staff of the Revolutionary Guards – 1990
- Deputy Coordinator of the Joint Staff of the Revolutionary Guards – 1991
- Deputy Commander of the IRGC in Khatam al-Anbia Camp – 1994
- Deputy Commander of Basij – 1994
- Deputy Commander of the Revolutionary Guards Air Force – 1997
- Commander of the State Security Froce (SSF) – 2000
- Representative of the President in the Headquarters for Combating the Smuggling of Commodities – 2004
- Tehran Municipality (2005 – 2017)
- Speaker of the Parliament – 2020
Qalibaf’s role in suppressing the student protests
In 1999, when Iranian students took to the streets and called Khamenei “dictator,” Qalibaf and 23 senior IRGC commanders wrote a letter to then President Mohammad Khatami and threatened him that he IRGC was prepared to suppress the students.
Meanwhile, during the 2017 presidential election campaigns, Hassan Rouhani disclosed that during the anniversary of the student uprising in 2003 Qalibaf had called for violence and “a pincer attack” against the protesting students.
What do we want?
Qalibaf is the figure that Khamenei has appointed in parliament for his own purposes. He is trusted by Khamenei because of his record of repression. This is especially important for Khamenei at a time when protests in Iran have entered a new phase.
Iran HRM seeks to expose the true nature of oppressors such as Qalibaf as a member of the cannibal triangle in Iran.
Such people should not have immunity, they should be brought to justice.