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  • 6/28/2005

Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini Beheshti

head of the Islamic Republic of Iran's judicial system

(October 24, 1928 - June 28, 1981)

Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini Beheshti was an Iranian cleric, the secretary-general of the Islamic Republic party, and the head of the Islamic Republic's judicial system. He was assassinated together with more than seventy members of the Islamic Republic party on June 28, 1981.

Beheshti was born in Isfahan and studied both at the University of Tehran and under Allameh Tabatabaei in Qom.

Between 1960 and 1965, he led theIslamic Center in Hamburg[i], where he was responsible for the spiritual leadership of religious Iranian students in Germany and Western Europe. In Hamburg, he also worked with Mohammad Khatami and was among his influences. Since the early 1960s, he was involved in activities against the Shah regime and was arrested several times by the Shah's secret police, theSAVAK.

Following the Iranian Revolution, he became one of the original members of the Council of Revolution of Iran and soon its chairman. In the first post-revolutionary Iranian parliament, he led the Islamic Republic party together with Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. He was also planning to run for Iranian presidency in the first presidential elections, but withdrew after Imam Khomeini told a delegation of Rafsanjani and Khamene'i that he prefers non-clerics as presidents, which led to Islamic Republic party's endorsement of first Jalaleddin Farsi and then, inevitably, Abolhassan Banisadr.

Beheshti died by assassination on June 28, 1981, when a bomb exploded during a party conference. The official and most probable story is that the bomb was planted by theMujahideen al-Khalq organization, who at that time were involved in a campaign of bombings and assassinations against officials of the Islamic Republic.

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[i]- The Islamic Centre Hamburg (Islamisches Zentrum Hamburg) is one of the oldest Iranian Shiite mosques in Germany and Europe. Established in Hamburg, in northern Germany, in the late 1950's by a group of Iranian emigrants and business people, it rapidly developed into one of the leading Shi'a centers in the Western world. (http://www.islamic-centre-hamburg.de/)

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