Ali Akbar Velayati was born in Rostamabad village in Tehran on 25 June, 1945. He was matriculated into Tehran University of Medial Sciences in 1964. Velayati finished his studies in pediatrics before moving to Johns Hopkins University for a fellowship in infectious diseases.
After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, he served as deputy health minister for a short period of time.
Velayati was elected to the first Islamic Consultative Assembly (parliament) from Tehran Constituency.
He was named foreign minister during the presidency of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. Velayati continued to serve as foreign minister for 16 years up to 1997 when Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's second term ended.
Velayati was then appointed foreign affairs advisor to Ayatollah Khamenei and has since held this post.
In the meantime, Velayati is teaching at university and is an active member of such influential bodies as the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, Expediency Council and Islamic Encyclopedia Foundation.
During the despotic rule of Mohammad Reza Shah, Velayati was arrested by the notorious intelligence service SAVAK when he was 17.
Some of his executive and scientific posts are as follows:
- Foreign affairs advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei (since 1997)
- Foreign Minister (1981 to 1997)
- Member of the Expediency Council
- Member of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution (since 1989)
- Secretary-General of the World Assembly of Ahl ul-Bayt (2000 to 2002)
- Representative of Tehran in the first post-revolution parliament
- Deputy Minister of Health
- Professor of Iran Foreign Relations at the Faculty of International Relations affiliated with Foreign Ministry
- Professor at Tehran University of Medical Sciences
- Head of Iran Medical Council
- Member of the Board of Directors of Iran Medical Council
- Member of Supreme Policymaking Council of Sacred Defense Encyclopedia
- Principle member of Iran Medical Academy
- Member of Board of Trustees of Islamic Encyclopedia Foundation
- Member of Board of Trustees of Tehran University of Medical Sciences
- Member of Board of Trustees of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences
- Senior Member of Tuberculosis and Pulmonary Diseases Research Institute
- Editor-in-chief of the Islamic Republic of Iran Medical Journal
- Chairman of Board of Directors of Iran's Association of Infectious and Tropical Diseases
- Head of the Central Council of the Islamic Physicians Association
- Head of the Contemporary Islam Group of Islamic Encyclopedia Foundation
- Head of Education/Research Center for Tuberculosis and Pulmonary Diseases
- Dynamism of Islamic and Iranian Culture and Civilization
- Iran and the Question of Palestine
- Iran and the Developments of Palestine
- Historical Crisis of Iranian Identity
- Intellectual Prelude to Constitutional Movement
- History of Iran Foreign Relations under Shah Abbas Safavid I
- History of Iran Foreign Relations under Shah Ismail Safavid II
- Political History of the Iraqi Imposed War Against the Islamic Republic of Iran
- History of Iran Foreign Relations under Nasser addin Shah and Mozaffar addin Shah
- Infectious Diseases