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Sadegh Khalkhali

From Academic Kids

Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali (صادق خلخالی in Persian) (1927? - November 26, 2003) was a hardline Shia cleric of the early years of the Islamic Republic of Iran. On February 24, 1979, he was chosen by Ayatollah Khomeini to be the Sharia ruler (حاکم شرع in Persian) to overlook the courts and make Islamic rulings, many of which were executions.

Khalkhali is infamous for his many death sentences against prominent Iranian officials of the Pahlavi era, especially Amir Abbas Hoveida, a former prime minister, and Nematollah Nassiri, a former head of SAVAK. Most of the condemned did not have access to a lawyer or a jury.

At the height of the Iran hostage crisis in 1980, Khalkhali appeared on television poking the charred bodies of the crews of US helicopters which crashed in the desert on the botched rescue mission Operation Eagle Claw.

He later investigated and ordered the execution of activists for independence of Kurdistan and Turkmen Sahra, and then drug traffickers. In an interview, he has personally confirmed ordering more than 100 executions.

Khalkhali was elected as representative of Qom in Parliament for two terms, and was removed from power upon Khomeini's death in 1989. He retired to Qom, where he taught islamic seminarians.

He died at the age of 76 after a heart problem.


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