H.E. Mr. Mohammad Javad Zarif

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Former Permanent Representative of Iran to the United Nations


Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif was born to a religious traditional family in Tehran in 1959. He completed his primary and secondary schools in the Alavi School. Due to the political and security conditions of the time, he decided to continue his education in the United States. During his studies in the US, Zarif was an activist of the Islamic Association of Students in Canada and the US. He began his undergraduate studies in International Relations in San Francisco State University in 1977. He then earned his PhD in International Law and Politics from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 1988.

Dr. Zarif has many years of experience in different posts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He was the Deputy Minister for Legal and International Affairs for ten years. He was also the Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in New York for five years. During his career as a diplomat, Dr. Zarif has been selected for several times as a Distinguished Director at the national and organizational levels.

Dr. Zarif has also occupied various and important international posts such as the Chairman of the Sixth (Legal) Committee of the 47thUnited Nations General Assembly, Chairman of the UNESCO Cultural Commission, member of the Group of Eminent Lawyers to Amend the Charter of the Organization of Islamic Conference, Vice-President of the United Nations General Assembly, Chairman of the United Nations Disarmament Commission and Chairman of Political Committee of the12th Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Durban. Dr. Zarif was also in charge of the Political Committee of the OIC Summit in Tehran and the Head of the Executive Committee of the Islamic Inter-parliamentary Meeting in Tehran.

Dr. Zarif has taught for more than two decades at the university level. He is a visiting lecturer at the School of International Relations in Tehran and a member of the academic staff of the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences at the University of Tehran.

He has a good record of scholastic publications in the form of books and journal papers in English and Persian languages on various international issues such as multilateral diplomacy, international organizations, disarmament and other politico-security issues.

Dr. Zarif has two children who are married and are presently working in Iran.