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30 Interesting Things Everyone Should Know About Ali Khamenei

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Ali Khamenei, a marja, is the second and current Supreme Leader of Iran, in office since 1989, and is considered the most powerful political authority in the country. Here are some unknown facts about the Supreme Leader of Iran:

  1. Khamenei is the second-longest serving head of state in the Middle East, since the period of Oman's Sultan Qaboos.
  2. He, as a Supreme Leader, is the head of state of Iran and the commander-in-chief of its armed forces and can make the final decisions on the various main policies of government in fields like environment, national planning, economy and foreign policy.
  3. He is the second-longest serving Iranian leader of the last century, only after Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.
  4. From the year 1981, he served as the third President of Iran, until 1989. It was during this time, he became a very close ally of the first Supreme Leader, Ruhollah Khomeini.
  5. In the year 1994, following the death of Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Araki, the Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom declared Khamenei as a new marja, despite some ayatollahs not willing to recognize him as such.
  6. It is reported that he had been arrested six times before being sent into exile for three years during Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's reign.
  7. Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khameneh was born on July 17, 1939 to to Seyyed Javad Khamenei and Khadijeh Mirdamadi. He was the second son of eight children, only after sister Fatemeh Hosseini Khamenei.
  8. He is married to Khojaste Bagherzadeh and have six children - four sons - Mostafa, Mojtaba, Masood and Meysam, - two daughters - Boshra and Hoda.
  9. He along with his family resides in the Beit Rahbari compound, which reportedly employs around 500 people, "many recruited from the military and security services."
  10. He has a passion for reading novels since his childhood and has even studied various credible works by world famous authors. He considers Victor Hugo's Les Misérables as a miracle in the world of novel writing and that it is the bes that has ever been written in history.
  11. He is very fluent in Arabic in addition to his native languages, Persian and Azerbaijani and is also known for his translation of various books into Persian from Arabic, including the works of famous Egyptian theoretician Sayyid Qutb.
  12. He is known for writing poems with the pseudonym 'Amin' and participates in the literary associations in Mashhad, along with known poets and critiques various poems.
  13. Khamenei is said to have a very good singing voice and is also talented in playing the Tar, a traditional Iranian stringed instrument.
  14. He narrowly escaped an assassination attempt on June 27, 1981, by the Mujaheddin-e Khalq when a bomb, concealed in a tape recorder, exploded beside him, during his lecture to worshipers at the Aboozar Mosque.
  15. He was severely injured and underwent treatment for several months. However, the attempted assassination paralyzed his right arm. 
  16. He was elected as the President of Iran by a landslide vote of 97 percent in the Iranian presidential election, October 1981, becoming the first cleric to serve in the office.
  17. Initially, he opposed the Assembly of Experts' decision of Khamenei being elected as the Leader and argued heavily, but eventually accepted it after debating with the mujtahids of the Assembly.
  18. He was named as the temporary Supreme Leader at first, since he was not a Marja at that time, which was one of the requirements of Iranian constitution. He was later reconfirmed as the Supreme Leader, after the constitution was amended to remove such a requirement.
  19. In the early 1980s, Khamenei was one of Iran's leaders during the Iran–Iraq War and even developed very close ties with the now-powerful Revolutionary Guards.
  20. He is known to meet with foreign dignitaries, but does not travel overseas. It is mostly like, if anyone wishes to meet the Supreme Leader, they must travel to Iran.
  21. In the year 2000, he was listed by the Committee to Protect Journalists as "one of the top ten enemies of the press and freedom of expression." Following this, the opposition Ahmad Zeidabadi, Mohsen Sazegara, Mohammad Nourizad and Akbar Ganji were arrested and investigated.
  22. A group of unnamed former reformist lawmakers are said to have appealed to the Assembly of Experts in Mid-August 2009, to investigate the qualification of Leader Ali Khamenei to rule the country.
  23. He is an advocate of Islamic practice of Hijab, as he believes that it is aimed at honoring women. In July 2007, he criticized Iranian women's rights activists and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
  24. He believes in the importance of nuclear technology for civilian purposes because in his view, "oil and gas reserves cannot last forever."
  25. He reportedly issued a fatwa in 1999, that permitted the use of a third-party donation (either donor sperm, ova or surrogacy) in fertility treatments, which was totally different from the fatwa on ART by Gad El-Hak Ali Gad El-Hak of Egypt's Al-Azhar University in the late 1980s which permitted ART as long as no third party donation was used.
  26. He believes in gender segregation, and that gender equality is a Zionist plot with the purpose to "corrupt the role of women in society."
  27. Khamenei condemned the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and called Myanmar's de facto leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung Sang Suu Kyi a "brutal woman."
  28. He is one of the few first Islamic clerics to allow stem cell research and therapeutic cloning, in his effort to be supportive of scientific progress. He believes that the country's progress is dependent on investment in the field of science and technology.
  29. Since 2012, he has been ranked as one among the most powerful person in the world by the Forbes magazine. In 2018, he was ranked at #17 in the said list.
  30. Following the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda against US, Khamenei condemned the act and the attackers and even called for a condemnation of terrorist activities all over the world.
  31. Ali Khamenei Net Worth: $95 Billion

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Ali Khamenei, Ali Hoseini-Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran

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