Yousef Saanei

Yousef Saanei

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Yousef Saanei

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Grand Ayatollah Yousef Sanei is an Iranian scholar, renowned theologian and Islamic philosopher. He is admired by many and condemned by others for his radical calls for reforms and also serves as a Grand Marja of Shia Islam.


Born in Isfahan in 1937, he quickly rose to high ranks in his seminary studies at Qom's Hawzahs, and ranked first in the advanced level examinations in 1955, and was thus awarded the commendation of Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi for his exceptional achievement.

Sanei retired from the Guardian Council in 1983 and has not held any political office since. According to CBS GlobalPost, Sanei has been considered "the successor" of Grand Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri as "the spiritual leader" of the opposition movement.

His views

On nuclear weapons and WMDs

In an interview with The San Francisco Chronicle, Grand Ayatollah Yousef Sanei said:

"There is complete consensus on this issue. It is self-evident in Islam that it is prohibited to have nuclear bombs. It is eternal law, because the basic function of these weapons is to kill innocent people. This cannot be reversed.".

Ayatollah Yousef Sanei said clerical authorities have quietly expressed opposition to the development of weapons of mass destruction for many years, and he described it as...
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