According to the report by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council has selected Mohammad Bagher Zolghadr as its secretary. Zolghadr was chosen as the council’s secretary amid the various speculations regarding Sadeq Larijani’s departure as the head of the Expediency Council.
Mohammad Bagher Zolghadr
Mohammad Bagher Zolghadr is the former chief of social safety and crime prevention in the regime’s court, as well as a former Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) commander and strategic deputy.
Zolghadr was born in the region of Fars in 1954. He had joined and worked with religious reactionary organizations before the revolution of 1979. Following the revolution, he joined the so-called Committee of the Time, which was established by the Hezbollahis, and he began suppressing the people and government opponents. He later joined the Revolutionary Guards and was given command of the IRGC soldiers’ training.
The ranks of the IRGC’s irregular warfare
He rose through the ranks of the IRGC’s irregular warfare camp to become its leader. Sedigheh Beigam Hejazi, Zolghadr’s wife, has been the director-general of the Organization of Islamic Culture and Communication’s Office of Women and Family Affairs since the beginning of 2007, one of the organizations utilized by the dictatorship to export revolution.
For eight years following the war (under Hashemi Rafsanjani’s presidency), Mohammad Baqer Zolghadr was the chief of the IRGC’s Joint Staff. For the next eight years, he was the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Zolghadr as Deputy Minister of the Interior
In 2005, Mostafa Pour Mohammadi nominated Zolghadr as Deputy Minister of the Interior and Deputy Minister of Security and Disciplinary Affairs in the ninth cabinet. On the same day, the Ministry of Interior’s public relations department stated that Zolghadr had been appointed Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the IRGC by the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. With his approval, he was appointed to the new position.
Zolghadr was then elected as the social advisor of the judiciary in 2009 by the ruling of Amoli Larijani and has remained in this position until now. In his remarks, Zolghadr, like Mohammad Reza Naqdi, has been described as one of the organizers of the plainclothes forces, particularly the Ansar Hezbollah in the 1990s, and has frequently attacked and threatened protestors during post-election activities.
He groomed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for power
“Those killed in the ‘hard-war’ are among the martyrs, and those killed in the ‘soft-war’ are among the most hated,” he remarked in a speech in Mashhad in mid-September 2009.
One of the commanders that groomed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for power in the 2005 presidential election is Mohammad Baqer Zolghadr.
Mohammad Baqer Zolghadr was fired as the Interior Ministry’s deputy for security and law enforcement and transferred to the General Staff of the Armed Forces in December 2007, following internal conflicts between Khamenei’s group, which controlled the government, parliament, and judiciary.
At the same time, Khamenei designated him as the Armed Forces’ Deputy Chief of Staff for Basij Affairs.
Mohammad Baqer Zolghadr was identified as one of 15 Iranian government officials involved in nuclear and missile projects in UN Security Council Resolution 1747, which called on UN member states to impose restrictions on their travel and bank accounts.