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Who is Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, Path from Parliament to Presidential Candidate in Iran

Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi was born in April 1971 in Fariman, Khorasan Razavi Province. A member of a politically influential family, he is the cousin of Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi, the former Minister of Health under former president Hassan Rouhani, and the younger brother of Ehsan Ghazizadeh Hashemi, a current representative in the Islamic Consultative Assembly (the clerical regime’s Parliament, also called Majlis).

Ghazizadeh Hashemi’s involvement in the Iran-Iraq War at the age of 15, where he sustained a leg injury in the Om Al-Rasas region in 1987, has been a significant part of his public persona. This military service has bolstered his credentials among factions close to Khamenei as well as the so-called war veterans.

Ghazizadeh Hashemi graduated as an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) specialist from Mashhad University and has held various positions in the healthcare sector before fully diving into an ambitious political career.

2005 – 2020: Rise in Parliamentary Politics

Amir-Hosein Ghazizadeh Hashemi (left) in a meeting with IRGC commanders

Ghazizadeh Hashemi began his political career representing Mashhad and Kalat in the Majlis during the eighth (2005-2009), ninth (2009-2013), and tenth (2013-2017) legislative terms. He served as a secretary in the Majlis presidium during his ninth and tenth terms. His involvement in politics was marked by his extremist stance and alignment with the Principlist faction.

In the eleventh Majlis (2017-2024), he was elected as the First Deputy Speaker, reflecting his growing influence and prominence within Iran’s legislative body.

 

Key Positions and Roles

His positions to date include:

  • Deputy of Treatment at Khorasan’s Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs from 2002 to 2004
  • Member of the Board of Trustees at Rajayi Heart Center
  • Member of the Board of Trustees at Qom University of Medical Sciences
  • Member of the Board of Trustees at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences
  • Member of the General Competence Committee of the Faculty Recruitment Board at Beheshti University of Medical Sciences
  • Member of the National Specialty Education Council
  • Member of the Special Working Group on Implementing General Health Policies
  • Member of the Health Sector Policy Committee
  • Member of the Strategic Health and Welfare Council at the Research Center of the Parliament
  • Member of the Health Sector Policy Council
  • Member of the Advisory Committee for the Sixth Development Plan
  • Member of the Health Committee of the Expediency Discernment Council for three years
  • Advisor to the Minister of Health, Treatment, and Medical Education
  • President of Semnan University of Medical Sciences
  • Member of the Scientific Council of the Health and Treatment Group at the Social Studies Office of the Research Center of the Parliament
  • Member of the Joint Commission of the Parliament
  • Member of the Health and Treatment Commission of the Parliament
  • Representative of Mashhad in the 8th Parliament from 2008 to 2012
  • Representative of Mashhad in the 9th Parliament from 2012 to 2016 (Member of the Board of Directors of the Islamic Consultative Assembly; Secretary)
  • Representative of Mashhad in the 10th Parliament from 2016 to 2020 (Member of the Board of Directors of the Islamic Consultative Assembly; Secretary)
  • Spokesman for the Front of Islamic Revolution Stability from 2013 to 2014
  • Representative of Mashhad in the 11th Parliament from 2020 to present (Member of the Board of Directors of the Islamic Consultative Assembly; First Vice President)

Influential roles

Amir-Hosein Ghazizadeh Hashemi (right) on the campaign trial

Since 2021, he has been Vice President and Head of the Martyrs and Veterans Affairs Foundation in the 13th government. The Martyrs and Veterans Affairs Foundation is a government organization responsible for addressing the needs of those injured or disabled during the Iran-Iraq war and supporting the families of those who lost their lives. The foundation also engages in economic, cultural, educational, and medical activities. Like any other state-affiliated institution, the organization is riddled with corruption and under-the-desk fiscal irregularities. 

Ghazizadeh Hashemi has also been a member of the Paydari Front since its inception and served as its spokesman from 2013 to 2014. However, after the establishment of the Law Party, he left the Paydari Front. He is currently a member of the Central Council of the Islamic Law Party and continues to bear the title of the Head of the Martyrs and Veterans Affairs Foundation.

2021 Presidential Election: 

Ghazizadeh Hashemi announced his candidacy for the 2021 presidential election on April 7, 2021. He registered for the presidential election at the Ministry of Interior on May 12, 2021. The Guardian Council approved his candidacy on May 25, 2021.

Despite being considered a “cover candidate” to support Ebrahim Raisi, he did not withdraw from the election and remained in the race until the end. With about one million votes, he finished fourth after Ebrahim Raisi, Mohsen Rezaee, and Abdolnaser Hemmati. In the 2021 sham election, he received fewer votes than the blank votes, which were nearly 4 million (ranked second after Raisi).

Controversies and Public Statements

In his first televised campaign program aired on June 7, 2021, on state TV, Ghazizadeh Hashemi outlined his plans and views for the election and said, “Freedom of speech is one of the jokes that both the world’s powers and oppressive regimes exploit, and unfortunately, it has also been played within our country. It was said, ‘Woe to us if we silence the critics,’ but if anyone dared to criticize, they were met with all sorts of insults.”

On November 2, 2022, during a public session of Parliament, Ghazizadeh attacked his rival faction, saying, “Holding hopes in any American faction and tying the country’s needs, especially in the economic domain, to external matters, particularly U.S. elections and to divert public attention from management failures, is a great and unforgivable betrayal. The question is, with what logic and prudence do you link the people’s bread and butter to the political games of Americans, who are inherently enemies of the Iranian nation? An enemy is an enemy, whether it’s Joe or Donald.”

Amir-Hosein Ghazizadeh Hashemi (left) talking to Saeed Jalili, Strategic Council for Foreign Relations member (right) before the presidential campaign debate

Following the brutal suppression and bloody crackdown on the 2019 uprising by security forces, Amir-Hosein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, then a member of the Parliament’s Board of Directors, admitted to the high number of casualties in Mahshahr and called for paying money to some families of the victims to prevent an explosive public outrage and make them forget their loved ones’ blood.

In the 2021 election, Ghazizadeh Hashemi made various promises to attract voters, one of the most notable being “solving the stock market problem in three days.” At that time, while Iran’s stock market was in dire straits and investors were seeing their capital diminish daily, he declared, “The stock market problem can be solved in three days; it requires a governmental decree and the president’s order.” 

During his tenure in government, reporters frequently asked him why he didn’t help resolve the stock market issue given his position. He responded, “I am not the president. I am not part of the government’s economic team. How do you know I haven’t submitted my plan? The very question is a fallacy.”

Presidential ambitions

On June 4, in light of the immediate sham election held due to the death of former president Ebrahim Raisi, Amir-Hosein Ghazizadeh Hashemi registered at the election headquarters. Addressing journalists after registering, he said, “I remember our dear Imam, who with his foresight on the issue of Palestine, created a united front of resistance that will soon lead to the defeat of the child-killing Zionist regime and the definite victory of the Palestinian nation.”

Ghazizadeh continued, “Today, I am here to state that the elements of power, including military and political capabilities, national security, territorial integrity, infrastructure, progress in important technologies such as nuclear, nano, and aerospace, and the young, knowledgeable, and jihadist human resources, are all products of the Islamic Revolution and the jihadist and ideological movement. However, despite pride in the path taken, it is necessary to examine why, despite having numerous elements of power and progress, the dear Iranian family is faced with chronic issues and challenges that adversaries exploit to instill despair in them.”