Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeIran ElectionElections Candidates BiographyWho is Masoud Pezeshkian: Minister, MP, and Eternal Conformist Serving Iran’s Regime

Who is Masoud Pezeshkian: Minister, MP, and Eternal Conformist Serving Iran’s Regime

Masoud Pezeshkian (right) in IRGC uniform

Masoud Pezeshkian, born in September 1954 in Mahabad, West Azerbaijan, is a conventional figure in Iranian politics, known for his extensive career spanning various high-profile positions. His most high-ranking role was serving as the Minister of Health, Treatment, and Medical Education during Mohammad Khatami’s administration. He has been a representative in the Parliament for the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th terms, being a presidium member from 2016 to 2020.

Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988):

Masoud Pezeshkian (right) at the front during the war with Iraq

During the Iran-Iraq War, Pezeshkian was responsible for dispatching medical teams to the front lines while serving as a combatant and physician.

Political Career:

1999: Served as the Deputy Minister of Health, Treatment, and Medical Education under former regime president Mohammad Khatami for six months.

2001-2005: Appointed Minister of Health, Treatment, and Medical Education in Mohammad Khatami’s second term. His appointment led to the resignation of some ministry officials, including Gholamreza Ansari, who deemed him unfit for the role. Pezeshkian faced parliamentary impeachment due to issues related to drug shortages, medical tariffs, and foreign trips but survived the vote and continued in his role with renewed parliamentary confidence.

Parliamentary Tenure:

Masoud Pezeshkian (right) as member of the parliament presidium with IRGC uniform

2008-2024: Elected as a representative for Tabriz, Azarshahr, and Osku in the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th terms of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (regime’s Parliament also called Majlis). In the 10th parliamentary term, he was elected as the first Deputy Speaker with 158 votes, representing the Prudence and Hope faction aligned with then-president Hassan Rouhani.

Presidential Ambitions:

2013: Registered as a candidate for the sham presidential election but withdrew in favor of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

2021: Registered for the sham presidential election but was disqualified by the Guardian Council. He requested public disclosure of the reasons for his disqualification, criticizing the decision as detrimental to national interests.

Former regime president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (left) and Masoud Pezeshkian (right)

2024: Registered for the 14th sham presidential election on June 12, and his qualification was confirmed by the Guardian Council on June 20, following a directive from the Supreme Leader.

Statements and Actions:

2003: On June 23, 2003, Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist, was arrested while reporting on a protest by families of detainees in front of Evin Prison in Tehran. She was tortured, raped, and died in custody 18 days later. In light of an international outcry, particularly from the Canadian government, state officials in Iran suggested she might have accidentally injured herself by falling or intentionally hitting her head against a hard object. The notorious Saeed Mortazavi, the Tehran prosecutor at the time, tried to attribute her death to a stroke. Masoud Pezeshkian cited intracranial hemorrhaging as the cause of her death but claimed that his personal examination of her body revealed no signs of bruising or cuts on her face. In response to Canada’s request to investigate Kazemi’s death, Pezeshkian stated that Iran had the necessary expertise to conduct the examination and determine the cause of death, and thus, would not permit foreign teams to investigate.

A video, dated November 27, 2017, features Pezeshkian admitting in an interview with the regime’s Channel 3 that he was among the first to prohibit the entry of unveiled women and girls into universities and hospitals. In this televised confession, he proudly announces that he drafted this directive alongside other state officials, giving women a ten-day deadline to comply. Pezeshkian emphasizes in his admission that he implemented this measure in 1978, even before the mandatory hijab policy was introduced.

Newspaper headline quotes Masoud Pezeshkian denying any injuries on Zahra Kazemi’s body

In the interview, Pezeshkian states, “After the revolution, we were tasked with purging the universities and hospitals. When I accepted this responsibility, I issued a directive (regarding women) that required them to adhere to these guidelines. Of course, we coordinated this decision with the Revolutionary Court and the guys [citing the IRGC and the so-called Revolutionary Committees]. This decision was made even before the hijab policy was introduced. It was only two months after my directive that the government announced that these measures must be enforced.”

2018: During parliamentary sessions, Pezeshkian proposed eliminating the presidency and replacing it with an executive deputy to the Supreme Leader, suggesting the need for a unified command structure to address the economic war initiated by the U.S. This suggestion was interpreted by the Principlists (Khamenei’s faction) as a plan to create a deputy for the Supreme Leader, while their opponents (factions who introduce themselves as the moderates) saw it as a satirical comment. Pezeshkian himself said that he never proposed eliminating the presidency and replacing it with an executive deputy to the Supreme Leader. He clarified that his point was that since “the US President Donald Trump initiated an economic war against Iran, there has been a need for a war council comprising all the highest-ranking elements of the state to lead the response to this economic war, ensuring that all institutions follow its directives, similar to the council formed during the eight-year war.”

2020: Masoud Pezeshkian condemned the U.S. decision to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization and praised the IRGC’s downing of an American drone, describing it as a firm response to U.S. aggression. He publicly stated his willingness to wear the IRGC uniform again, emphasizing the critical role of the IRGC in maintaining national integrity.

2022: In response to the killing of Mahsa Amini and the ensuing protests, Pezeshkian expressed uncertainty about the cause of her death but called for transparency and an investigation. He condemned the protests, warning against “actions that could lead to national instability,” and “expressed concerns over the escalation of violence and damage to public properties.”

April 2020: During an interview with the state-run newspaper Hamdeli, Pezeshkian was asked why he did not pursue the case of those killed during the November 2019 protests. He responded, “Those who announced it went to prison. I didn’t go to prison. You do it and go to prison.” He challenged journalists to investigate and reveal the truth, questioning why they had not done so.

Recent presidential run:

In his recent campaign for the presidency, Masoud Pezeshkian is striving intensely to show himself aligned with the slain Ebrahim Raisi and demonstrate consistency with the directives of Ali Khamenei. On June 10, he stated, “I am telling you, we must continue on the same path; we are not supposed to change course. People and those living with us need to know that the country’s legislation is stable. General policies mean stable programs, which bring us to stability. When we constantly change the direction, and strategy, and issue new directives every day, naturally, we won’t achieve the goals and growth envisioned by the Supreme Leader.”

Unlike the deceitful propaganda by some state media outlets attempting to portray Pezeshkian as a symbol of change, Massoud Pezeshkian clarified in an interview on June 15 that he has participated in the race to increase voter turnout and assist Khamenei in maintaining the illusion of widespread support for the regime. Pezeshkian stated, “I joined this election to generate enthusiasm for participation against enemies watching us. If people don’t show up, our country will be at risk.”

During the third presidential staged debate in June, Pezeshkian defended the complete shutdown of the internet during critical times, such as nationwide protests, revealing the unified stance of all factions within the regime regarding suppressing public dissent.