Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani (Persian: محمدرضا مهدوی کنی , born 8 April 1931) is an Iranian cleric, conservative politician, writer and current chairman of the Assembly of Experts. He is also the current leader of Combatant Clergy Association.
Mahdavi Kani was born on 8 April 1931 in the village of Kan, near Tehran. His father was an Ayatollah and taught in the Mofid School. After he finished basic education in Kan, he studied at Borhan High School in Tehran. He left for Qom in 1947 to study at a religious seminary. His teachers included Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Reza Golpayegani, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Boroujerdi and Allameh Sayyed Mohammad Hossein Tabatabai.
After the demise of Ayatollah Boroujerdi, Mahdavi Kani went back to Tehran and continued his struggle against the Pahlavi regime, something which he had started since he was 18, during the time of Ayatollah Boroujerdi. He was considerably active and effective in his participation in the Islamic movement of Iran led by Khomeini. Before the Islamic Revolution, he was appointed by Khomeini to the Revolutionary Council and later took up various political and religious positions. He is the leader of the Combatant Clergy Association, which he cofounded in 1977. He was appointed chief of the Central Provisional Komiteh for the Islamic Revolution that was a body in charge of trials and executions of the civil and military officials of the Pahlavi era.
He served as the minister of interior in the cabinet of Mohammad-Ali Rajai to succeeding Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. He was reappointed as minister of interior in the cabinet of Mohammad-Javad Bahonar. He became the interim prime minister on 2 September 1981 and was in office until 29 October 1981. He was also chairman of provisional presidential council, after the assassination of president Mohammad Ali Rajai and prime minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar. He has also been a member of the Constitutional Amendment Council of Iran, appointed by Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, to review and amend the Constitution of Iran in 1989. He was also elected as member of the assembly in 2008 in a by-election from Tehran.
Mahdavi Kani is the founder and current head of Imam Sadegh University in Tehran, a university specializing in humanities. He was elected as chairman of the Assembly of Experts on 8 March 2011 after Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani resigned from office In March 2013 he was reelected to the post for further two years.