Ayatollah Dastgheyb was born in 1935 in the city of Shiraz, Iran. Before the 1979 Islamic revolution, he was actively involved the struggles against the Shah's regime. He was imprisoned several times and eventually exiled. After the revolution, he established several seminaries and divinity schools in the city of Shiraz. He has been a member of the Iranian Assembly of Experts, the assembly of clerics which is in charge of electing and supervising the Iranian Supreme Leader, since 1981 to date (2009). The Ayatollah resides in Shiraz, Iran, where he mentors thousands of divinity students.