Ali Bagheri Kani, a 57-year-old political insider with a history of serving in Iran’s diplomatic and security apparatuses, has been appointed interim foreign minister, replacing Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who died on May 19 in a helicopter crash in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, alongside President Ebrahim Raisi and several other officials and staff.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani has been appointed as acting top Iranian diplomat.  The decision was taken at an extraordinary meeting of Iran’s Cabinet on May 20.

Kani will be heading the foreign ministry on an interim basis.

Some media reports say Ali Bagheri Kani is the logical choice to come in as acting foreign minister – he had been Amir-Abdollahian’s deputy for political affairs.

Ali Bagheri Kani was reportedly political deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran since September 2021.

He is considered to be close to the Principlists and to be part of the inner circle of the Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The Principlists, also interchangeably known as the Iranian Conservatives, are one of two main political camps inside post-revolutionary Iran; the Reformists are the other camp.

Kani was born in 1967 in the village of Kan in Tehran County to a conservative family that helped establish and strengthen the Islamic Republic.

Family members have had prominent roles in the country.  According to Al Jazeera, his father, the now 98-year-old prominent cleric Mohammad-Bagher Bagheri Kani, is a former member of parliament and the Assembly of Experts, the clerical body tasked with appointing a successor to the 85-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The new acting foreign minister’s brother, Mesbah al-Hoda Bagheri Kani, is reportedly a son-in-law of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

According to some sources, Ali Bagheri Kani studied economics at Tehran’s Imam Sadiq University, a school that has produced many members of Iran’s government.