Ali Khamenei

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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei (Persian: آیت‌الله سید علی حسینی خامنه‌ای; born July 15, 1939) is the Supreme Leader of Iran.

Ali Khamenei studied Islamic philosophy and became a teacher in it. He was a key figure in the Islamic revolution and a close confidant of leader Ayatollah Khomeini. Khamenei was appointed to the highly effective post of Tehran's Friday Prayer Leader by Imam Khomeini in the autumn of 1979, after the resignation of Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri from the post. In June 1981, Khamenei narrowly escaped an assassination attempt when a bomb, concealed in a tape recorder at a press conference, exploded just beside him. He was permanently injured losing some functions of his right hand, but the event helped affirm his reputation as a "living martyr" among his followers.

In 1981, after the assasination of Mohammad Ali Rajai, Khamenei was elected President of Iran, and became the first cleric to serve in the office. Khomeini had originally wanted to keep clerics out of the presidency, but this view was compromised. Many saw Khamenei's presidency as a sign that Iran was abandoning any hopes for secularism, and becoming even more theocratic.

He was re-elected to a second term in 1985. As a close ally of Khomeini, his term in office rarely clashed with the Supreme Leader, unlike Iran's first president, Abolhassan Banisadr. When Khomeini died, Khamenei was elected as the new Supreme Leader by the Assembly of Experts on June 4, 1989. Since Khamenei was originally not considered to be as high-ranking a cleric needed to assume the office, and the new amendment to the constitution that allowed a cleric of his then status to be elected as the Supreme Leader were not put to the referendum yet, the Assembly internally titled him a temporary office holder until the new constitution became effective.

Khamenei's term as ruler has been marked by numerous clashes with reform-minded members of the Majlis of Iran during the sixth assembly after the Iranian revolution, who contested many of his decrees and decisions. Many reform bills have been vetoed and many reformists has been barred from running for office by the Council of Guardians whose members are chosen directly or indirectly by Khamenei. In case of Law of The Press bill, prepared by reformist members of the parliament to ease pressure on the press, he directly ordered the speaker of parliament, Mahdi Karrubi, to remove the case from Majlis's agenda.

Khamenei, who was 14 years old during the Abadan Crisis, when the United States helped overthrow prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh also maintained an aggressive stance towards Israel and the United States (and possibly other countries, which he calls by the general term the enemy). In recent years there have been allegations that he has been supporting a covert nuclear weapons development project in Iran, as a response to the nuclear weapons possessed by Israel and the United States.

Khamenei has two sons, Mojtaba and Mostafa, and according to Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel leads a small household [1] (

See also

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