Famous Iranian Leaders

Think of Iran and the first thing that strikes the mind is revolt and revolution. Though it has been a disturbed nation popular for militancy, religious revolutions and censorship, stereotyping it to be just that is unethical. Leave alone this popular facet that press shows of Iran and the country is as beautiful and historic as any other country in the world. It has been home to a pool of teachers, academicians, scientists, poets, artists, sports personalities and so on. Excepting for a few politicians and leaders who have used their power for their own benefits, Iran has had important political leaders as well. The country is basically run by the President who is the highest popularly elected official in Iran. However, the supreme powers rest with the Supreme Leader of Iran, who is the head of state and highest ranking political and religious authority of the country. Some of the most popular Iranian leaders who have garnered much limelight for reasons both good and bad include Mohammad Khatami, Ali Khamenei, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hassan Rouhani and Ruhollah Khomenei. Read through this section and wrap yourself with knowledge about the life and works of famous Iranian leaders.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

Shah of Iran
2
Famous As: Last Shah of Iran
Birthdate: October 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Iranian
Died: July 27, 1980

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi served as the last king of Iran from 1941 to 1979. During his reign, Iran witnessed rapid military and industrial modernization and several social and economic reforms. During his rule, Iran also enjoyed a spike in economic growth, surpassing France, England, and the US. However, the Iranian Revolution, which was unusual in many ways, overthrew the king.

 2 Ayatollah Khomeini

Ayatollah Khomeini
2
Famous As: Led the Famous Iranian Revolution in 1979
Birthdate: September 22, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Iranian
Died: June 3, 1989
Ayatollah Khomeini, or the Imam Khomeini, became Iran’s first Supreme Leader, after leading the 1979 Iranian Revolution against Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. He founded the Islamic Republic of Iran. He also issued a “fatwa” against novelist Salman Rushdie and supported the hostage takers during the Iran hostage crisis. 

 3 Zoroaster

Zoroaster
2
Famous As: Founder of Zoroastrianism
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Nationality: Iranian
Zoroaster, also known as Zarathustra, was an Iranian spiritual leader who founded the religion Zoroastrianism, which challenged the traditional religious ideas of Ancient Persia. There is no record that states the exact period of his existence with certainty. He is said to have authored the Gathas and the Yasna Haptanghaiti.

 4 Zarathustra

Zarathustra
2
Famous As: Prophet
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Nationality: Iranian
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 5 Esther

Esther
2
Famous As: Queen of the Persian king Ahasuerus
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Nationality: Iranian
Esther from the Book of Esther was a Jewish queen of the Persian king Ahasuerus. While the king’s advisor, Haman, angered by Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, planned to kill all Jews, Esther reversed the plan with the king’s permission. The Jewish festival Purim marks the day the Jews murdered their enemies.

 6 Qasem Soleimani

Qasem Soleimani
4
Famous As: Former Commander of Quds Force
Birthdate: March 11, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Iranian
Died: January 3, 2020

Qasem Soleimani was an Iranian major general who served as the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force from 1998 to 2020. Soleimani was regarded as the second most powerful Iranian. Although he is considered a national hero in Iran, Soleimani was termed a terrorist by the US and was killed in a targeted drone strike in 2020.

 7 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
2
Famous As: President of Iran
Birthdate: October 28, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Iranian

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the president of Iran from 2005 tom 2013. He had also been the mayor of Tehran earlier and had also served as a leader of the conservative coalition Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran, or Abadgaran. He is also part of the Islamic Society of Engineers.

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 8 Ali Khamenei

Ali Khamenei
21
Famous As: Supreme Leader of Iran
Birthdate: July 17, 1939
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Iranian
Ali Khamenei has been serving as the supreme leader of Iran since 1989 and has previously been its president. He is one of the co-founders of the Islamic Republic Party and led his country during the Iran–Iraq War. His reign has also seen extreme treatment of journalists and protestors.

 9 Mohammad Mosaddegh

Mohammad Mosaddegh
2
Famous As: Political Leader
Birthdate: June 16, 1882
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Iranian
Died: March 5, 1967
Born to an Iranian public officer, Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh had an elite education in Switzerland. His oil-nationalization act brought about an economic crisis in the country. He was known to be an eccentric person who met visitors in pajamas, from his bed, and also cried in public.

 10 Hassan Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani
6
Famous As: 7th President of Iran
Birthdate: November 12, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Iranian

Hassan Rouhani is an Iranian politician and the current president of Iran. Serving as the Iranian president since 3 August 2013, Rouhani was named in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World list in 2013. One of the most popular Iranian politicians of all time, Hassan Rouhani is credited with improving the country's diplomatic relations with other countries.

 11 Nader Shah

Nader Shah
2
Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: October 22, 1688
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Iranian
Died: June 19, 1747

Nader Shah reigned over Iran as the Shah of Iran from 1736 until his death in 1747. He is widely regarded as one of the most powerful rulers in the history of Iran. He has also been described as the Napoleon of Persia, thanks to his military genius, which was evident in his several campaigns.

 12 Harun al-Rashid

Harun al-Rashid
2
Famous As: Caliph
Birthdate: March 17, 0763
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Iranian
Died: March 24, 0809
Son of Abbasid caliph al-Mahdi and former Yemeni slave girl al-Khayzuran, Harun al-Rashid reigned as the fifth Abbasid caliph. Many of the Middle-Eastern folk tales, known as the Arabian Nights, have him as the main character. He ruled over a prosperous Baghdad, spelling the beginning of the Islamic Golden Age.

 13 Hassan-i Sabbah

Hassan-i Sabbah
2
Famous As: Islamic religious leader
Birthdate: 1050 AD
Nationality: Iranian
Died: June 12, 1124

 14 Baháʼu'lláh

Baháʼu'lláh
2
Famous As: Religion Founder
Birthdate: November 12, 1817
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Iranian, Persian
Died: May 29, 1892

 15 Abdul Qadir Gilani

Abdul Qadir Gilani
2
Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: March 17, 1078
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Iranian
Died: February 21, 1166

 16 Rezā Shāh

Rezā Shāh
0
Famous As: Political figure
Birthdate: March 15, 1878
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Iranian
Died: July 26, 1944

Rezā Shāh was a military colonel who founded the Pahlavi dynasty and reigned as the Shah of Iran from December 1925 to September 1941. He was also the prime minister of Iran from October 1923 to November 1925. His tenure saw the introduction of many social, economic, and political reforms, and he is regarded as the founder of modern Iran. 

 17 Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
2
Famous As: Former President of Iran
Birthdate: August 25, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Iranian
Died: January 8, 2017
Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani had also been the speaker of the Majles, or the Islamic Consultative Assembly, and the commander-in-chief during the Iran-Iraq War. Though generally dictatorial, his governance was known for its tolerance of criticism and cultural openness, and earned him the nickname Akbar Shah.

 18 Ali-Reza Pahlavi

Ali-Reza Pahlavi
2
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 28, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Iranian
Died: January 4, 2011

 19 The Bāb

The Bāb
2
Famous As: Religious Leaders
Birthdate: October 20, 1819
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Iranian, Persian
Died: July 9, 1850

 20 Mohammad Khatami

Mohammad Khatami
2
Famous As: Philosopher, Politician, Librarian, Writer
Birthdate: September 29, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Iranian

 21 Zerubbabel

Zerubbabel
2
Famous As: Governor
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Nationality: Iranian

 22 Mani

Mani
0
Famous As: Prophet
Birthdate: April 14, 0216
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Iranian
Died: March 2, 0274

 23 Ali al-Rida

Ali al-Rida
0
Famous As: Imam
Birthdate: January 1, 0766
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Iranian
Died: May 26, 0819

 24 Al-Tabari

Al-Tabari
0
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: 0839 AD
Nationality: Iranian
Died: February 17, 0923

 25 Shapur I

Shapur I
0
Famous As: Military commander
Birthdate: 0215 AD
Nationality: Iranian
Died: April 30, 0272

 26 Abolhassan Banisadr

Abolhassan Banisadr
0
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 22, 1933
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Iranian

 27 Moshe Katsav

Moshe Katsav
0
Famous As: President , Politician 
Birthdate: December 5, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Israeli, Iranian

 28 Mir-Hossein Mousavi

Mir-Hossein Mousavi
0
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Iranian

 29 Shahpur Bakhtiar

Shahpur Bakhtiar
0
Famous As: Prime Minister
Birthdate: June 26, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Iranian
Died: August 6, 1991

 30 Artaxerxes III

Artaxerxes III
0
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0425 AD
Nationality: Iranian
Died: November 30, 0338

 31 Musa al-Sadr

Musa al-Sadr
0
Famous As: politician, theologian, Akhoond
Birthdate: April 15, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Iranian
Died: August 28, 1928

 32 Ardashir I

Ardashir I
0
Birthdate: 0180 AD
Nationality: Iranian
Died: January 31, 0242

 33 Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj

Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj
0
Famous As: Persian islamic scholar
Birthdate: 0821 AD
Nationality: Iranian
Died: April 30, 0875

 34 Tahmasp I

Tahmasp I
0
Famous As: Political leader
Birthdate: February 22, 1514
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Iranian
Died: May 14, 1576

 35 Nizam al-Mulk

Nizam al-Mulk
0
Famous As: scientist, writer
Birthdate: April 10, 1018
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Iranian, Kosovar
Died: October 14, 1092

 36 Attar of Nishapur

Attar of Nishapur
0
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1145 AD
Nationality: Iranian, Persian
Died: March 31, 1221

 37 Aga Khan I

Aga Khan I
0
Famous As: Governor
Birthdate: 1804 AD
Nationality: Iranian
Died: March 31, 1881

 38 Mehdi Bazargan

Mehdi Bazargan
0
Famous As: politician, engineer
Birthdate: September 1, 1907
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Iranian
Died: January 20, 1995

 39 Mohammad Mirmohammadi

Mohammad Mirmohammadi
0
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 7, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Iranian
Died: March 2, 2020

 40 Mohammad-Ali Rajai

Mohammad-Ali Rajai
0
Famous As: Prime minister
Birthdate: June 15, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Iranian
Died: August 30, 1981

 41 Ahmad Khomeini

Ahmad Khomeini
0
Famous As: Political leader
Birthdate: March 15, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Iranian
Died: March 17, 1995

 42 Babak Khorramdin

Babak Khorramdin
0
Famous As: Political activist
Birthdate: 0798 AD
Nationality: Iranian
Died: January 7, 0838

 43 Cambyses I

Cambyses I
0
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0600 BC
Nationality: Iranian
Died: 0559 BC

 44 Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf

Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf
0
Famous As: politician
Birthdate: August 23, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Iranian

 45 Cyaxares

Cyaxares
0
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0625 BC
Nationality: Iranian
Died: 0584 BC

 46 Fazlollah Zahedi

Fazlollah Zahedi
0
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 17, 1892
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Iranian
Died: September 2, 1963

 47 Shapur II

Shapur II
0
Famous As: Military commander
Birthdate: 0309 AD
Nationality: Iranian
Died: 0379 AD

 48 Hadi Khosroshahi

Hadi Khosroshahi
0
Famous As: Diplomat
Birthdate: December 7, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Iranian
Died: February 27, 2020

 49 Abu Muslim

Abu Muslim
0
Famous As: Muslim leader
Birthdate: 0718 AD
Nationality: Iranian
Died: 0755 AD

 50 Sogdianus of Persia

Sogdianus of Persia
0
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Nationality: Iranian, Persian
Died: 0423 BC