Who is Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf?
Last Thursday, on May 28th, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf was duly elected as Speaker of the 11th Iranian Parliament. The parliament comprises 290 seats, most of which are held by fundamentalists associated with the Khamenei ideology.
Key roles played by Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf
- Following Ruhollah Khomeini’s domination in Iran, from 1979, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf began his career in the Bassij para-militia force which was associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
- When the protest movement began in the Kurdistan region where its citizens were out to reinstate their rights, Qalibaf emerged to oppress this ethnic minority.
- Qalibaf was based in the south throughout the Iran-Iraq war when he joined the IRGC.
- His socio-political life at that time became aligned to Khomeini’s leadership.
- In the war, one of his jobs was with “the key to heaven” where schoolchildren in their thousands were told to walk through the minefields so a safe passage could be found for tanks to use. The children were persuaded to perform this act by showing them images of white horses as angels to guide them through the night on the minefields.
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) May 28, 2020
- At some point, he took up the position of the battalion commander.
- Later, he became the commander of the Imam Reza brigade.
- What Qalibaf liked doing the most was murdering the supporters and members of the (PMOI / MEK Iran) who as the main opposition were a threat to the Iranian regime.
- He was given the position as commander of Khatam al-Anbia Construction Base which ensured the IRGC maintained a firm hold on Iran’s economy.
- Khamanei appointed him next as the IRGC Air Force head. He used this position to quell protests by students in 1999.
- In the year 2000, Khamenei ruled that Qalibaf should be the head of the Social Security Forces (SSF) where he used this position to interrogate and jail both artists and scholars. He threatened students who were drawn to protests in 2003.
- Qalibaf became Tehran’s mayor from 2005 to 2017. In this position, which lasted for 12 years, he was accused by the state-run media of allowing Tehran’s municipality to be involved in fraud, bribery, and embezzlement to the tune of 22,000 billion Tomans. It even offered land in northern Tehran at discounted prices to managers, city council members, an MP, and various other officials.
In 2019, the state-run media published some of Qalibaf’s extravagances, such as owning 47 covert bank accounts, not repaying loans worth 229 billion and 700 million Tomans, and a credit of 497 billion Tomans given to the IRGC Cooperation Foundation.
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) May 29, 2020
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, described Qalibaf, as the murderer of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) members, and an accomplice to Ebrahim Raisi, the regime’s Judiciary Chief. Qalibaf is involved in suppression and warmongering and engaged in theft and plunder within the clerical regime. Appointing him as the Head of the Legislature by Khamenei is a new step towards further contraction of the ruling system in the final phase of this regime.
Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the new speaker of the mullahs' parliament, is a murderer of the PMOI/MEK and an accomplice to Ebrahim Raisi, the ruthless Chief of Judiciary. A former IRGC commander, he now heads the regime’s Legislative Branch #Iranhttps://t.co/tDSMkSjqwz
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) May 28, 2020
Qalibaf’s most recent appointment indicates that more suppressive measures are likely to be used to quell popular uprisings that could end the bitter rule of the current regime.