A Principlist figure and former diplomat, Saeed Jalili served as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 2007 to 2013. In that capacity, he served as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator in talks with major world states on the country’s nuclear program.
Prior to that post, he was deputy foreign minister for European and American affairs.
Jalili ran for president in the 2013 election, but he came in third.
Born in 1965 in the holy city of Mashhad, Jalili holds a Ph.D. in political science. After graduation, he fought the army of ex-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein as a volunteer Basij member during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. He was severely wounded and lost the lower portion of his right leg as a result.
‘An administration with a well-planned roadmap for progress’
Speaking at a presser after registering his presidential run, Jalili criticized the administration of President Hassan Rouhani for treading some “wrong” and “costly” paths, which he said only brought about more pressure on people, apparently referring to the 2015 nuclear deal that Tehran spent time negotiating with six major world states, only for the US to unilaterally withdraw and re-impose tough sanctions on the country.
The country will need to make a leap forward, Jalili said, stressing that such a goal cannot be achieved without a well-planned roadmap.