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Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini Beheshti (محمد حسینی بهشتی in Persian), (October 24, 1928 - June 28, 1981) was an Iranian cleric, the secretary-general of the Islamic Republic party , and the head of the Islamic Republic's judicial system. He was assassinated together with more than seventy members of the Islamic Republic party on June 28, 1981.
Between 1960 and 1965, he led the Islamic Center in Hamburg , where he was responsible for the spiritual leadership of religious Iranian students in Germany and Western Europe. In Hamburg, he also worked with Mohammad Khatami and was among his influences. Since the early 1960s, he was involved in activities against the Shah regime and was arrested several times by the Shah's secret police, the SAVAK.
Following the Iranian Revolution, he became one of the original members of the Council of Revolution of Iran and soon its chairman. In the first post-revolutionary Iranian parliament, he led the Islamic Republic party together with Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. He was also planning to run for Iranian presidency in the first presidential elections, but withdrew after Ayatollah Khomeini told a delegation of Rafsanjani and Khamenei that he prefers non-clerics as presidents, which led to Islamic Republic party's endorsement of first Jalaleddin Farsi and then, inevitably, Abolhassan Banisadr.
Beheshti died by assassination on June 28, 1981, when a bomb exploded during a party conference. The official and most probable story is that the bomb was planted by the Mujahideen al-Khalq organization, who at that time were involved in a campaign of bombings and assassinations against officials of the Islamic Republic. A popular conspiracy theory within Iran is that Rafsanjani is responsible, based on that Rafsanjani allegedly had left that meeting only minutes before the explosion. Ironically, there are also similar theories that consider Beheshti to be behind the sudden and unexpected death of Mahmoud Taleghani .
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