94 Facts About Ali Khamenei


Ali Hosseini Khamenei is a Twelver Shia marja' and the second and current supreme leader of Iran, in office since 1989.


Ali Khamenei served as the third President of Iran from 1981 to 1989, while becoming a close ally of the first Supreme Leader, Ruhollah Khomeini.


Ali Khamenei has been head of the servants of Astan Quds Razavi since 14 April 1979.


Ali Khamenei is the head of state of Iran, the commander-in-chief of its armed forces, and can issue decrees and make the final decisions on the main policies of the government in many fields such as economy, the environment, foreign policy, and national planning in Iran.


Two of his brothers are clerics; his younger brother, Hadi Ali Khamenei, is a newspaper editor and cleric.


Ali Khamenei's father was an ethnic Azerbaijani from Khamaneh, while his mother was an ethnic Persian from Yazd.


Ali Khamenei's education began at the age of four, by learning Quran at Maktab; he spent his basic and advanced levels of seminary studies at the hawza of Mashhad, under mentors such as Sheikh Hashem Qazvini and Ayatollah Milani.


Ali Khamenei was a key figure in the Iranian Revolution in Iran and a close confidant of Ruhollah Khomeini.


Since the founding of the Islamic Republic, Ali Khamenei has held many government posts.


Later on, Hassan Rouhani, then a member of Parliament, arranged for Ali Khamenei to get his first major post in the provisional revolutionary government as deputy defense minister.


Ali Khamenei served briefly as the vice Minister of National Defence from late July to 6 November 1979 and as a supervisor of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.


Ali Khamenei went to the battlefield as a representative of the parliament's defense commission.


Ali Khamenei narrowly escaped an assassination attempt by the Mujahedin-e Khalq when a bomb, concealed in a tape recorder, exploded beside him.


On 27 June 1981, while Ali Khamenei had returned from the frontline, he went to the Aboozar Mosque according to his Saturday's schedule.


Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's treatment took several months and his arm, vocal cords and lungs were seriously injured.


Ali Khamenei was permanently injured, losing the use of his right arm.


In 1981, after the assassination of Mohammad-Ali Rajai, Khamenei was elected President of Iran by a landslide vote in the October 1981 Iranian presidential election in which only four candidates were approved by the Council of Guardians.


Ali Khamenei became the first cleric to serve in the office.


Iran's Chief Justice Sadeq Larijani, a Ali Khamenei appointee, has warned the president of Iran against voicing opposition to Ali Khamenei.


Ali Khamenei officially succeeded Ruhollah Khomeini after Khomeini's death, being elected as the new Supreme Leader by the Assembly of Experts on 4 June 1989.


Various lists were proposed and Ali Khamenei was named in all of them.


Ali Khamenei, who was ranked as a Hujjat al-Islam and not a Marja' as required by the Iranian constitution, said he would only be a "ceremonial leader", and was reassured by Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani the position would be "temporary" until a referendum, apparently planned for one year later.


Ali Khamenei called on his followers to follow Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran as "the best person for the leadership of our people and removing the aggressors".


In Nasr's view, Ali Khamenei is an "unusual sort of dictator".


Ali Khamenei regularly meets with the president, cabinet members, head and officials of the judiciary branch, parliamentarians, among others, and tells them what to do.


Ali Khamenei meets with foreign dignitaries he does not travel overseas; if anyone wishes to see him, that person must travel to Iran.


Apart from his time in Najaf as a student, Ali Khamenei traveled to Libya during his time as president.


In 2007, Ali Khamenei called for privatizing state-owned companies, including the telephone company, three banks and dozens of small oil and petrochemical enterprises.


Khamenei developed a cult of personality; with supporters describing him as a "divine gift to mankind" and in which Khamenei critics are persecuted.


Ali Khamenei cited the construction of several hundred schools, mosques and hussainiyas, as well as direct and indirect contributions to the formation of over 350 thousand jobs expecting a total of 700 thousands for the upcoming three years.


Ali Khamenei revealed plans of gradual sell-off of Setad profitable businesses in the stock market with the aim of transferring their ownership into the hands of Iranian people.


Ali Khamenei envisioned the construction and delivery of 17 thousand housing units to families in poor regions of Iran by 2018.


In 2012, Ali Khamenei ordered a halt to a parliamentary inquiry into Ahmadinejad's mishandling of the Iranian economy.


In 2016, Ali Khamenei advised Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his former ally with whom his relationship was strained after Ahmadinejad accused his son Mojtaba Ali Khamenei of embezzling from the state treasury, to not run for president again.


Ali Khamenei rejected talks for referendums on the state's future, questioning people's judgment and causing public outrage.


Ali Khamenei has reportedly issued a fatwa saying the production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons was forbidden under Islam.


In 2000, Ali Khamenei sent a letter to the Iranian parliament forbidding the legislature from debating a revision of the Iranian press law to allow more press freedom.


In 2002, after protests erupted in the capital, Ali Khamenei intervened against the death sentence given to Hashem Aghajari for arguing that Muslims should re-interpret Islam rather than blindly follow leaders.


Ali Khamenei ordered a review of the sentence against Aghajari, which was later commuted to a prison sentence.


Ali Khamenei commenced to issue such messages since the start of his responsibility as the supreme leader of Iran.


Ali Khamenei asks the Muslims to be aware of what he considers "the conspiracy of the enemies" by having a right comprehension and advises them to "not be deceived by them".


Ali Khamenei was one of the Ulama signatories of the Amman Message, which gives a broad foundation for defining Muslim orthodoxy.


In 2010, Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa that bans any insult to the Sahabah as well as Muhammad's wives.


In 2007, Ali Khamenei requested that government officials speed up Iran's move towards economic privatization.


Ali Khamenei suggested that ownership rights should be protected in courts set up by the Justice Ministry; the hope was that this new protection would give a measure of security to and encourage private investment.


In 2007, Iranian police under the direction of Ali Khamenei launched a "Public Security Plan", arresting dozens of "thugs" to increase public security.


On 30 April 2008, Ali Khamenei backed President Ahmadinejad's economic policy and said the West was struggling with more economic difficulties than Iran, with a "crisis" spreading from the United States to Europe, and inflation was a widespread problem.


Ali Khamenei emphasized that no one has the right to blame the Iranian government for Iran's economic problems.


Ali Khamenei advised people and the government to be content and avoid waste in order to solve economic problems.


Ali Khamenei said that the Iranian people would respond with an "iron fist" if Western powers meddle in Iran's internal affairs.


Ali Khamenei has been supportive of scientific progress in Iran.


In 2004, Ali Khamenei said that the country's progress is dependent on investment in the field of science and technology.


Ali Khamenei said that attaching a high status to scholars and scientists in society would help talents to flourish and science and technology to become domesticated, thus ensuring the country's progress and development.


Ali Khamenei has "direct responsibility" for foreign policy, which "cannot be conducted without his direct involvement and approval".


Ali Khamenei condemned the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen and compared Saudi Arabia to Israel.


On 4 June 2006, Ali Khamenei said that Iran would disrupt energy shipments from the Persian Gulf region should the country come under attack from the US, insisting that Tehran will not give up its right to produce nuclear fuel.


On 14 September 2007, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei predicted that George W Bush and American officials would one day be tried in an international criminal court to be held "accountable" for the US led invasion of Iraq.


Ali Khamenei asserts that the United States is the main cause of insecurity in Iraq.


On 21 March 2011, Ali Khamenei accused the West of " coming after Libyan oil".


Ali Khamenei stated that he support sending mediators rather than bombing the country.


In June 2012, Ali Khamenei warned Western governments that the mounting sanctions on the country would only deepen the Iranians' hatred of the West.


In October 2014, Ali Khamenei said the US and the UK created ISIS as a tool to fight Iran and "create insecurity" in the region.


On 19 July 2015, while speaking at a mosque in Tehran, Ali Khamenei said to his supporters that the policies of the United States in the region were "180 degrees" opposed to Iran's political and religious movement.


In March 2020, Ali Khamenei warned against a United States offer of aid to fight COVID-19 because it could be a way to hurt Iran by further spreading the disease.


Ali Khamenei suggested the US had developed a special variety of the virus "based on Iranian genetic information they have gathered", although he provided no evidence for the theory.


In March 2022, Ali Khamenei accused the US of creating the conflict surrounding the Russo-Ukrainian War.


Ali Khamenei is an opponent of the State of Israel and Zionism, and has been criticized for making threats against Israel and for anti-Semitic rhetoric.


In 2014, a tweet from an account attributed to Ali Khamenei, claimed that there was no cure for Israel but its destruction.


In 2013, Ali Khamenei accused France of "kneeling" before Israel, while saying that Israel was led by people unworthy of the "title human".


On 10 September 2015, in a speech about Israel after agreement on the nuclear program of Iran, Ali Khamenei made a remark "Israel will not exist in 25 years".


On 21 February, at the 6th International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada, Ali Khamenei regarded the withdrawal of Israel from south Lebanon in 2000.


Ali Khamenei condemned the peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and charged UAE with betraying the Islamic world, the Arab countries and Palestine.


Ali Khamenei stated that the normalization will be only temporary, but the UAE will forever have to bear the shame regarding the deal.


On 21 March 2014, during a morning speech marking the Persian New Year, Nowruz, Ali Khamenei called into question the Holocaust.


Ali Khamenei said that "the Holocaust is an event whose reality is uncertain and if it has happened, it's uncertain how it has happened".


On Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January 2016, Ali Khamenei posted a Holocaust-denying video on his official website.


However, Ali Khamenei himself has insisted human rights are a fundamental principle underlying Islamic teachings that precedes Western concern for human rights by many centuries.


Ali Khamenei has attacked Western powers who have criticized the rights record of the Islamic Republic for hypocrisy, saying that these countries economically oppress people in Third World countries and support despots and dictators.


In 2016, Ali Khamenei, who outlined the elections guidelines "in line with Article 110 of Iran's Constitution", asked to maximize the amount of transparency in elections in Iran, using modern technologies.


In 2000, Ali Khamenei sent a letter to the Iranian parliament forbidding the legislature from debating a revision of the Iranian press law to allow more freedom.


Ali Khamenei believes that hijab is aimed at honoring women.


Ali Khamenei is married to Mansoureh Khojasteh Bagherzadeh, with whom he has six children; four sons and two daughters.


Ali Khamenei has three brothers, including Mohammad Khamenei and Hadi Khamenei.


On 9 September 2014, Ali Khamenei underwent prostate surgery in what his doctors described in state news media as a "routine operation".


In September 2022, it was reported that Ali Khamenei had undergone surgery for bowel obstruction and had to cancel a number of meetings.


In late 1996, following a fatwa by Ali Khamenei stating that music education corrupts the minds of young children and is against Islam, many music schools were closed and music instruction to children under the age of 16 was banned by public establishments.


Ali Khamenei has expressed interest in studying novels and stories since childhood and studied various world's credible novels.


Ali Khamenei was "fascinated by Jean-Paul Sartre and Bertrand Russell" in his youth.


Ali Khamenei praised the works of Mikhail Sholokhov, Alexei Tolstoy, Honore de Balzac, and Michel Zevaco.


Ali Khamenei is fluent in Arabic in addition to his native languages, Persian and Azerbaijani.


Ali Khamenei has translated several books into Persian from Arabic, including the works of the Egyptian Islamic theoretician Sayyid Qutb.


In February 2011, Ali Khamenei supported the Egyptian uprising against their government, describing it as Islamic awakening instead of Arab Spring.


Later, in "Islamic Awakening conferences" which were held in Tehran, Ali Khamenei praised the Muslim youths of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain for what he described as Islamic awakening.


Ali Khamenei paralleled these events with Islamic revolution in Iran during his Nowruz oration in 2011.