Ministry of Intelligence (Iran)
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The Ministry of Intelligence and National Security (Persian: وزارت اطلاعات و امنیت کشور), is the primary intelligence agency of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is also known as SAVAMA and VEVAK. It is an important part of the Iranian government's security apparatus, and is well funded and equipped. Before a thorough overhaul of the organization in 1998 under President Mohammad Khatami which took place after the famous scandal of "the serial murders of writers", the organization had been accused of being involved in terrorist activities, including assassination of Iranian political dissidents inside and outside the country and training and funding Hezbollah.
Information on the ministry is often difficult to obtain. The organization was intended to replace SAVAK, Iran's intelligence agency during the rule of the Shah, but it is unclear how much continuity there is between the two organizations—while their role is similar, their underlying ideology is radically different. It is suspected that the new government was initially eager to purge SAVAK elements from the new organization, but that pragmatism eventually prevailed, with many experienced SAVAK personnel being retained in their roles. Former SAVAK staff are believed to have been important in the ministry's infiltration of left-wing dissident groups and of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party.
The formation of the ministry was proposed by Saeed Hajjarian to the government of Mir-Hossein Mousavi and then the parliament. There were debates about which branch of the state should oversee the new institution, and the other options apart from the presidency were the Judiciary system, the Supreme Leader, and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Finally, the government could get the approval of Ayatollah Khomeini to make it a ministry, but a restriction was added to the requirements of the minister, needing him to be a mujtahid.
The ministry was finally founded on August 18, 1984, abandoning many small intelligence agencies that were formed in different governmental organizations. The five ministers since the founding of the ministry, have been Mohammad Reyshahri (under Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi), Ali Fallahian (under President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani), Ghorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi (under President Mohammad Khatami, resigned after a year), Ali Younessi (under President Khatami, until August 24, 2005), and Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejehei (under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, from August 24, 2005).
 See also
|Directors of intelligence agency of Iran|
Pahlavi times (1957-1979)
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Image:Reza shah flag.GIF
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 External links
- Iran Terror Database, a website with allegations about Iran's intelligence activities
- Why did the Ayatollah Khomeini absorb the CIA's SAVAK? HIRde:Vezarate Ettelaat Va Amniate Keshwar