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H.E. Grand Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Ali Khamenei

Political, Administrative

Grand Ayatollah Khamenei is the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He was born in Mashhad and studied in the leading Iranian religious seminary in Qom, before becoming involved in the struggle with the Pahlavi Regime in the sixties and seventies. He was a key figure in the revolution in 1979 and served as President between 1981-1989 before succeeding Ayatollah Khomeini as Supreme Leader upon the latter’s death. He has vocally supported most of the unrest in the Arab World, likening it to the Iranian Revolution.


Champion of Iranian Solidarity:

Although Khamenei was initially criticised for endorsing the June 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he has been acclaimed for his response to the post-election turmoil. He ordered the closing of the Kahrizak detention centre in response to reports of prisoner abuse and death. He is a strong advocate of Iran’s nuclear program. 

Supreme Leader, Velayat-e Faqih:

Khamenei’s current influence stems from his powerful position as a religious leader, which gives him a unique role in political affairs. His job is to enact the Velayat-e Faqih—the guardianship of the jurist. In real terms this means a system where scholars of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) have a controlling say in the political affairs of the state. The rule of the jurist was a concept created by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, based on ideas that have run through Iranian political history since the time of Shah Ismail—who was the first to make Shi‘a Islam the national religion of Iran. It was conceived in a battle against oppression as a way of safeguarding the Iranian nation from tyranny; giving the final say in all matters to a group of religious scholars, the Council of Guardians. This Council is headed by a chief arbitrator—the Supreme Leader.

Leader of Shi’a Revolution:

Khamenei gains much of his influence in Iran from his role as a leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The Islamic Republic of Iran was forged out of the 1979 Revolution. Combating what many saw as the tyrannical rule of the Shah, Khamenei joined the Society of Combatant Clergy that staged demonstrations mobilizing many of the protests which led to to the Shah’s overthrow. After the revolution in 1979, Khamenei was one of the founding members of the Islamic Republic Party, and a member of the assembly of experts that was responsible for drafting Iran’s new constitution.

Sunni-Shi’a Reconciliation:

On September 2, 2010 Khamenei issued a historic fatwa banning the insult of any symbol that Sunnis hold to be dear, including but not limited to the companions and wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). This fatwa was received with great appreciation by the Chancellor of Al-Azhar University, Sheikh Ahmad Al Tayyeb.

95%The percentage of votes he received in the 1981 presedential elections when he became the first cleric to serve in the office
24The number of years Khamenei has ruled over Iran as the Supreme Leader, being only the second leader in the 34 years since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei revealed to run £60 BILLION ... - Daily Mail
2013-11-11 15:15:54

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei controls a business empire worth around $95 billion (£59 billion) - a sum exceeding the value of his oil-rich nation's current annual petroleum exports, a six-month Reuters investigation shows. The little ...

Iran Stretched Laws To Expand Ayatollah Khamenei's Grip On Economy - Huffington Post
2013-11-13 19:44:32

Khomeini's successor as supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has used it to amass assets worth tens of billions of dollars, rivaling the holdings of the late shah. Setad's portfolio includes banks, farms, cement companies, a licensed contraceptives ...

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei controls £60 billion financial empire, report says - Telegraph.co.uk
2013-11-12 10:22:34

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, controls a financial empire worth an estimated US$95 billion (£60 billion) - far greater than the wealth accumulated by the late shah, the deposed pro-Western monarch. Assets often based on property ...

Ayatollah Khamenei's conglomerate thrived as sanctions squeezed Iran - Reuters Blogs (blog)
2013-11-13 14:11:26

(Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sits next to a portrait of late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in a television programme in Tehran on the occasion of the Iranian New Year March 21, 2011. REUTERS/Leader.ir/Handout). (This is the second ...

Iran's Khamenei 'controls mysterious $95bn business' - FRANCE 24
2013-11-12 16:03:49

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei controls a business empire valued at around $US95 billion, more than the oil-rich country's total annual petroleum exports, an investigation by the Reuters news agency revealed on Tuesday. Reuters said ...

Ayatollah Khamenei: US should 'slap' Sheldon Adelson, cannot stop Iran's ... - Daily Caller
2013-11-03 19:22:58

“If Americans are telling the truth that they are serious about negotiation, they should slap these prating people [Adelson] in the mouth and crush their mouths,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech on the eve of the anniversary of the U.S. Embassy ...

Ayatollah Khamenei Defends Negotiators, Warns of 'Smiling' Enemies - Al-Monitor
2013-11-03 16:03:30

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has a final say about Iran's nuclear program, stated his explicit support for Iran's nuclear negotiating team during a speech in honor of National Day of Resistance Against Global Arrogance. He also warned ...

Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei Calls Israel 'Bastard Regime' - Washington Free Beacon
2013-11-04 14:06:04

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Israel an 'illegitimate and bastard regime' while criticizing Israel's alliance with the United States on Sunday, Israel Hayom reports. Khamenei's comments seem to undo the work done by Iran's ...

Khamenei slams French 'imprudent, inept move' to delay Iran nuclear deal - Jerusalem Post
2013-11-10 11:43:11

DUBAI - A Twitter account Iran experts believe is run by the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated criticism of France on Sunday after Paris expressed reservations about a proposed deal to end a dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

Mystery of missing ayatollah: Ali Khamenei's three-week seclusion for work on ... - DEBKA file
2013-10-28 07:21:28

Spy services world wide have been mystified by the unusual absence from public view of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for nearly three weeks. He was last seen in public on Oct. 5 visiting the military college in Tehran with army chiefs.and more »

“Mass killings of human beings are catastrophic acts which are condemned wherever they may happen and whoever the perpetrators and the victims may be.”
The West knows very well that we are not seeking to build nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are against our political and economic interests and our Islamic beliefs.

Birth: 17 July 1939 (Age: 75)

Source of Influence: ,

Influence: Supreme Leader of 75 million Iranians

School of Thought: ,

Status: Featured in current year

“Mass killings of human beings are catastrophic acts which are condemned wherever they may happen and whoever the perpetrators and the victims may be.”
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95%The percentage of votes he received in the 1981 presedential elections when he became the first cleric to serve in the office
24The number of years Khamenei has ruled over Iran as the Supreme Leader, being only the second leader in the 34 years since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
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