Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf

محمدباقر قالیباف

ID:19931 Section: Person

Updated:Tuesday 14th October 2014

Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf Definition

(Wikipedia) - Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf
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Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf محمدباقر قالیباف Mayor of Tehran Preceded by Personal details Born Nationality Political party Spouse(s) Children Alma mater Profession Religion Signature Website Military service Allegiance Service/branch Years of service Unit Commands Battles/wars
Assumed office 17 September 2005
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
(1961-08-23) 23 August 1961 (age 53) Torqabeh, Iran
Islamic Society of Engineers
Zahra Moshiri (m. 1982)
Elias (b. 1985) Maryam (b. 1987) Eshaq (b. 1990)
Tarbiat Modares University
Politician and former soldier
Shia Islam
Official website
IRGC Air Force
21st Imam Reza Brigade 5th Nasr Division
Deputy Commander of the Resistance Force and Basij Troops Commander of AFAGIR Chief of the Police Forces of the IRI
Iran–Iraq War
This article contains Persian text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols.

Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf or Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf (Persian: محمدباقر قالیباف‎, born August 23, 1961) is an Iranian conservative politician, professor, a former IRGC Air Force and a Pilot of Iran Air and police commander. He is the 55th and current Mayor of Tehran, serving his third term since his first election in 2005. He was a candidate in the 2013 presidential election but lost to Hassan Rouhani, in second place with 6,077,292 of the votes. He was also a candidate in the 2005 presidential election.

He holds a Ph.D. in political geography from Tarbiat Modares University. He is also a pilot, certified to fly certain Airbus aircraft. He began his military career during the Iran-Iraq war in 1980. He became chief commander of Imam Reza troops in 1982 and was chief commander of Nasr Troops from 1983 to 1984. After the end of the war, he became Managing-Director of Khatam al-Anbia, an engineering firm controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (also known as Sepah) and was appointed as commander of the IRGC Air Force in 1996 by Ali Khamenei. Four years later, he became chief of the Iranian Police Forces after the previous commander was dismissed following the 1999 student protests. He was also appointed as Representative of President Mohammad Khatami during a campaign to combat smuggling in 2002. In September 2005, he was elected as Tehran''s mayor by the City Council of Tehran. He is also a professor at the University of Tehran.

  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Early political career
  • 3 Police career
    • 3.1 Amaken
    • 3.2 Kahrizak prison
    • 3.3 Moral Security plan
  • 4 Mayor of Tehran
  • 5 Presidential campaigns
    • 5.1 2005 presidential election
    • 5.2 2013 presidential election
  • 6 Personal life
  • 7 Honors and accolades
    • 7.1 Awards
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links

Early life

Ghalibaf was born to a Kurdish father Hossein Ghalibaf and a Persian mother Kheirolnessa Boujmehrani in Torqabeh, near Mashhad, on 23 August 1961. His father, Hossein, is from Torghabeh and his mother, Kheyrolnesah is from Neyshabur. Hossein Ghalibaf, currently a baker in his hometown, participated in the Iran-Iraq War along with his two other sons.

When he was 16, he used to attend speeches held by senior clerics in Mashhad. Due to his religious beliefs, he and several of his classmates established Islamic Pupils Association. In 1977, a strong earthquake struck the city of Tabas in the Khorasan Province. Ghalibaf collected aid for quake-stricken people in Tabas.

Early political career

At the age of 19, he was one of the commanders of the defense forces during the Iran–Iraq War. Shortly afterwards he was named commander of the Rasulollah division. By the time he was twenty-two, he was already commander of the Nasr Troops. After the war he was selected as Deputy Commander of the Resistance Force and Basij Troops under General Afshar. Ghalibaf received the degree of Major General in 1996 after he had completed a masters degree in Geopolitics. In 1998, when Commanding General Rezaie (head of the AGIR/IRGC) retired and Commanding General Safavi took over, he was named Commander of AFAGIR (Air Force of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution). Ghalibaf is quoted as saying, "On that night I went home and told my family about my new position. My son laughed and said so they have named someone who can''t even fly, as Commander of an Air Force. I told him don''t worry, I''ll soon fly Jumbo Jets, and now I am a co-pilot of Jumbos." In 2001, he received a Ph.D. in geopolitics from Tarbiat Modares University.

Ghalibaf became one of the senior commanders of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (IRGC) in later years. In 1984, he was appointed head of the Khatam al-Anbia Construction Headquarters, which is the engineering arm of the IRGC. Under his management, the headquarters launched a 165-kilometer railway connecting Mashhad to Sarakhs.

Police career

As commander of the Revolutionary Guards Air Force during the 1999 student protests, Ghalibaf was one of the 24 IRGC commanders who sent a threatening letter to the reformist president Mohammad Khatami stating that if the protests were allowed to continue, they would take matters into their own hands. Some years later in 2013 in remarks to Basiji students, Ghalibaf described his personal involvement in suppressing the demonstrations:

“I was the commander of the Revolutionary Guards Air Force at the time. Photographs of me are available showing me on back of a motor bike, with Hossein Khaleqi, beating them with wooden sticks….I was among those carrying out beatings on the street level and I am proud of that. I didn’t care I was a high ranking commander.”

Following the 1999 protests, he was appointed as chief of the Iranian Police Forces by the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, to succeed General Hedayat Lotfian who was removed from his office during the violence. After becoming chief of police, Ghalibaf initiated some reforms in the forces, including the Police 110 project, which aimed to make the police more accessible to the general public.

According to Ghalibaf, he was instrumental in ensuring that the 2003 student protests were met with a firm hand:

“I went to the National Security Council meeting and raised hell, spoke very harshly. Didn’t observe proper protocol and I told them as head of the police, I will demolish anyone who would show up tonight on the campus to protest. Mr. Moeen and Zarifian were opposed to giving us permission , but with my behavior I intimidated them to get the permission to enter and also to shoot ..”

He was successful in suppressing the student protests in 2003 with his deputy Morteza Talaie, chief of the Police Forces of Tehran, and helped end the protests without any fatalities. In addition, he served as the special representative of then President, Mohammad Khatami, on the Anti-Traffic Committee.

On April 5, 2005, Ghalibaf submitted his resignation from the military positions (including the police forces) due to his intention to run for the presidency of Iran.


Police forces called many journalists and intellectuals like Aydin Aghdashloo, Bahram Bayzai, Houshang Golmakani, Behrouz Gharibpour, Kaveh Golestan and others to the newly established Amaken. Journalists Golmakani and Siamak Pourzand were arrested and put in jail for many months. Reformist Ahmad Masjed-Jamei, then Minister of Culture of Iran protested the arrests, but Ghalibaf stated that they were arrested because of "cultural degeneracy". He also claimed that Pourzand had had relations with exiled prince Reza Cyrus Pahlavi.

Kahrizak prison

Kahrizak detention center, a prison made famous during the 2009–10 protests, was established during Ghalibaf''s term as police chief.

Moral Security plan

Ghalibaf also announced the Moral Security plan in the summer of 2002.

Mayor of Tehran

When Ghalibaf lost the 2005 election, he was proposed as Mayor of Tehran along with Mohammad Aliabadi and Mohammad-Ali Najafi. On 17 September 2005, he was elected as the next Mayor by the City Council of Tehran to succeed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who left the office after being elected president. He received 8 out of 15 votes of the council. He was reelected for a second term on 12 September 2010 after receiving 12 votes with no opponent.

Along with Gholamhossein Karbaschi, he has been referred to as one of the most successful mayors of the city. He was also listed as 8th best mayor in the 2008 World Mayor awards. According to Blumberg news, he has used his position as mayor "to foster a reputation as a politician who gets things done." Ghalibaf said his role in the suppression of the 2009 election protests while mayor was highly regarded by leading officials who later evaluated the response of various institutions: “Although the Mayoralty is not a security agency, we were ranked third in how well we responded…and this is amongst intelligence-security organs, not all state organs.” Ghalibaf seek for reelection as Mayor of Tehran as the Conservative''s choice in the 2013 local elections. His rivals were Mohsen Hashemi, Masoumeh Ebtekar, Ali Nikzad and Mohsen Mehralizadeh. He was elected as Mayor for another term on 8 September 2013 after defeating Hashemi in a runoff with 51.6% of the votes.

Presidential campaigns 2005 presidential election

Ghalibaf was a candidate in the Iranian presidential election of 2005, and was being considered to be supported by some factions of the conservative alliance because of his popularity with both wings. However, in the final days before the election, the major support went to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ghalibaf came fourth in the election.

On October 13, 2008, he announced his support for dialogue with the United States as suggested by President (then presidential candidate) Barack Obama. According to Ghalibaf, "the world community, the Iranian society and the US society would benefit" from such talks.

2013 presidential election

Ghalibaf did not run for presidency in the elections in 2009. His adviser announced that he would take part in the presidential elections in June 2013 and he officially announced this on July 16, 2012. Ghalibef was one of the conservative candidates running for office. In his speech during the announcement of his candidacy, he said:

“That''s two things I still stand on and would seriously consider, first: the Constitution and second: respect the prisoners and detainees."

Ghalibaf speech in a campaign in Mashhad

He also set Love and Sacrifice and Jihadi Change as his official slogans. His campaign manager was Mahmoudi Mozafar, a current MP from Tabriz. His candidacy was approved by the Guardian Council on 21 May 2013 along with seven other candidates. He was one of the opponents of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani''s candidacy and says it was better that Rafsanjani not enter the race, as he had served two terms before. He and two other candidates, Ali Akbar Velayati and Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, formed a coalition called "2+1". He was endorsed by former candidates, Alireza Ali Ahmadi and Sadeq Vaeez Zadeh. Ali Larijani, the current chairman of parliament, also supported Ghalibaf in the election.

According to the Guardian, his moderating streak as Tehran''s mayor is evident throughout Ghalibaf''s political efforts. Ghalibaf received 6,077,292 votes (16.55%), putting him in second place behind winner Hassan Rouhani, who was elected as the new president. Hours after the announcement of the results, Ghalibaf published a statement congratulating Hassan Rouhani on his election as President of Iran and conceding.

Personal lifeGhalibaf speaking at Sharif University of Technology

Ghalibaf married Zahra Sadat Moshiri in 1982 when he was twenty two years old. Moshiri, born in 1968 joined her husband as an adviser and head of Women''s affairs in the Municipality of Tehran. Before this, she was a professor of Sharif University of Technology. The couple have one daughter, Maryam (born 1987) and two sons, Elias (born 1985) and Eshaq (born 1990). Elias is currently a member of SAIPA company and was its deputy head from 2006 to 2010. Eshaq is a student of accounting in Azad University and Maryam also studying law at Shahid Beheshti University. Ghalibaf''s brother, Hassan was killed during Iran-Iraq war.

Honors and accolades Awards
  • 12 December 2008: World Mayor award, 8th Best Mayor
  • 12 December 2010: World Mayor award, 12th Best Mayor
  • 1 February 2010: Transportation award
  • 11 May 2011: Metropolician award
  • 12 December 2011: World Mayor award, 3rd Best Mayor
  • 13 February 2013: BLP award

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