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Family members of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Khamenei

Opinion

Family members of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Badri Khamenei and her husband, cleric Sheikh Ali Tehrani, have been opponents of Ali Khamenei’s rule since the 1980s. Writes Ehsan Mehrabi

Mojtaba Khamenei, the second son of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, is seen as an unofficial crown prince who is responsible for the country’s political, social and economic impasses. However, most of the 83-year-old leader’s other relatives have been critical of his rule spanning over more than three decades.

The family’s political views again came into spotlights when Khamenei’s sister, Badri Khamenei, published an open letter criticizing his “despotic caliphate.” She condemned the bloody state crackdown on the ongoing nationwide protests and called on the elite Islamic Republic Guards Corps (IRGC) to lay down their weapons.

Ali Khamenei’s father had three daughters with his first wife, all of whom are dead now. His remaining children are from his second wife Khadijeh Mirdamadi – Mohammad, Ali, who became Iran’s supreme leader, Badri, Hadi and Hassan.

Hassan Khamenei is the only brother who is not a cleric. He has worked at the Ministries of Oil and Culture.

Mohammad Khamenei is a member of the political camp that was once sknown as the right wing. He was among 99 parliament members who voted against Mir Hossein Mousavi becoming prime minister (1981–89).

He also joined seven other lawmakers in signing a petition asking then-Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati to be summoned to parliament to answer questions regarding U.S National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane’s visit to Tehran in 1986.

The move led to a strong reaction from Ayatollah Khomeini and the MPs disappeared from the political scene.

Badri Khamenei and her husband, cleric Sheikh Ali Tehrani, have been opponents of Ali Khamenei’s rule since the 1980s.

Tehrani defected to Iraq in the 1980s. When Badri asked Ali Khamenei to be allowed to join her husband, he refused, and she left Iran illegally with her five children. The couple returned to Iran in 1995. The husband was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but he was released after 10 years. He died in October 2022.

Three of their children do not interfere in politics. Ehsan and Vahideh Muradkhani are doctors, while Saeedeh studies history.

Another child, Mahmoud, is a doctor who settled in France in the 1980s. He is said to have many contacts among politicians inside Iran.

Their sister Farideh has been detained several times, including last month after she urged foreign governments to cut all ties with the Iranian government. She was arrested and released on bail earlier this year after reading a poem praising Farah Pahlavi, the widow of the last shah.

Hadi Khamenei, the supreme leader’s third brother, has been considered a member of the left movement since the1980s. He has also been at odds with his Ali. He published two newspapers, Jahan Islam and Hayat No, before they were banned. During the presidency of Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005), Hadi Khamenei was attacked several times by plainclothes forces. He was a supporter of Mir Hossein Mousavi in the 2009 presidential election.

Ali Khamenei’s mother, Khadijah Mirdamadi, was the daughter of Ayatollah Hashem Najafabadi Mirdamadi. The Mirdamadi family is also critical of his rule.

Hossein Mirdamadi, Khamenei’s uncle, is a retired professor of theology. He wrote several open letters addressed to his nephew after the controversial 2009 presidential election.

Hossein’s son, Sirajuddin Mirdamadi, was a journalist. He was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to six years in prison, banned from doing any journalist work for five years and banned from leaving Iran for two years after his release.

Ali Mirdamadi, Khamenei’s other uncle, was a middle manager in the Ministry of Industries before retiring in the 1990s. After the 2009 election, he fled to Britain, where he lives with his wife and son. He is not involved in politics.

Blitz’s Editorial Board is responsible for the stories published under this byline. This includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on BLiTZ

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