Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, recently appointed Sadeq Amoli Larijani, the head of the country’s judicial system and whose name is listed in the US sanctions list because of human rights violations, for the presidency of the Expediency Council, replacing Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, who died on Monday.
The US sanctions imposed on Larijani were namely due to his human rights violations, in addition to “arbitrary arrests of political prisoners, human rights defenders and minorities” which “increased markedly” since he took office, according to the EU who also sanctioned Larijani in 2012.
Larijani is close to the supreme guide of the Iranian regime Ali Khamenei and one of his potential successors to be the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist.
Larijani is being accused of committing crimes against humanity, especially his ratification of death sentences against political prisoners, minors and women, after closed trials that lack the minimum fair trial conditions, according to human rights organizations.
Larijani was appointed as the head of the judicial system by Khamenei, after he had been a member of the Guardian Council for 9 years. He played an important role in suppression, arresting opposition members and imposing censorship.
Larijani is also accused of opening 63 secret accounts to collect all financial guarantees from those being prosecuted, which are about 40 million citizens. These accounts reportedly make him an estimated profit of about 300 million dollars.
Last July the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said in a statement directed to the Americans of Iranian origin that Larijani has at least 300 million dollars which he got by embezzling public funds to his private bank account.
His role in suppression
During the last uprising, Sadeq Larijani gave orders in a speech on Iranian TV Channel 2 to the public prosecutions all over the country to strongly intervene to control the protests and handle demonstrators strictly.
He asked the security forces to handle the protesters violently, which resulted in the death of five protesters from torture in several detention centers.
Who is Sadeq Larijani?
Sadeq Amoli Larijani belongs to the hardline school of thought in Iran and enjoys, along with his three brothers, the trust of Khamenei. He was born in 1960 in Najaf, Iraq. His father, Ayatollah Mirza Hashim Amoli, was a teacher in the religious seminary in Iran, but after being pressured by Reza Shah he moved to Najaf in 1931, and stayed there for three decades. In 1961, he returned to Qom with his family.
When appointing the head of the judicial system, Khamenei described Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani as the “virtuous young cleric” who had been inspired by the most prominent figures in the religious seminary in Qom.
The family is from Pardameh village in Larijan, which is about 70 kilometers from Amol in the Mazandaran province. Their father stayed in Najaf, Iraq for a long time, where the first three brothers were born in Najaf and two other brothers were born in Qom, Iran.
An influential family in judiciary, parliament and economy
The Larijani family controls the judiciary, parliament and they have wide economic activities in Iran. His younger brother Mohammad-Javad Larijani, is the judicial assistant and heads the so-called Human Rights Commission, which is accused by human rights organizations of covering up violations, justifying them and violating international laws.
His elder brother, Ali Larijani, heads the parliament since 2008 and plans to run for the next presidential elections.
His fourth brother Dr. Baqer Larijani, is a consultant at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences. His fifth brother, Fadil Larijani, is a diplomat in the Iranian Foreign Ministry, who is also accused of corruption along with his brother Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani.