Nuclear Negotiator Ali Bagheri Appointed Acting Foreign Minister After Amirabdollahian’s Death

Iran appointed Ali Bagheri, its seasoned nuclear negotiator, as acting Foreign Minister on Monday following the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of the Iranian President and Foreign Minister. Bagheri, 56, previously served as the deputy to the late Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. He is known for his close ties to Iran’s ultraconservatives and his affiliations with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s inner circle. 

From Nuclear Negotiator To Acting Foreign Minister — A Look At Bagheri’s Journey

Throughout his career, Bagheri gained recognition for his calm demeanor despite his firm stance, particularly in criticising Western interference. According to AFP, he once stated, “Every time foreigners intervene, under any pretext… their presence interferes with the security and stability of the region”. 

Bagheri possesses extensive experience in Iran’s nuclear dossier, a contentious issue that has strained relations between Tehran and major powers, including Israel. He emerged as a vocal critic of the 2015 nuclear deal, accusing the former administration of compromising Iran’s interests. 

Born in 1967 in the village of Kan in northwestern Tehran, Bagheri hails from a politically active family. His father, a Shiite cleric, was a member of the Assembly of Experts, tasked with selecting the Supreme Leader. Meanwhile, his uncle, Mohammed Reza Mahdavi Kani, led the same body.

Baghery’s foray into politics began in the 1990s when he joined the Iranian Foreign Ministry. It was during this time that he forged close ties with conservative figure Saeed Jalil. He worked closely with Jalili, serving as his deputy during Jalili’s tenure as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator.

Following his tenure with Jalili, Bagheri transitioned to the judiciary, serving as the secretary of the Human Rights Council and later as assistant for international affairs. 

Bagheri’s return to the diplomatic arena came in 2021 when he was appointed as the deputy Foreign Minister for political affairs and chief nuclear negotiator. 

Baghari’s appointment as acting Foreign Minister comes at a challenging time, with nuclear talks at a standstill due to significant differences, particularly with the United States. 

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