Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei, born 17 July 1939 is the second and current Supreme Leader of Iran and a Muslim cleric. Ali Khamenei succeeded Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian Revolution, after Khomeini’s death, being elected as the new Supreme Leader by the Assembly of Experts on 4 June 1989. He had also served as the President of Iran from 1981 to 1989. In 2012, 2013, and 2014 Forbes selected him 21st, 23rd, and 19th respectively in the list of The World’s Most Powerful People.
Khamenei is a head of state, and is considered the most powerful political authority in Iran. Khamenei was the victim of an attempted assassination in June 1981 that paralysed his right arm. According to his official website, Khamenei was arrested six times before being sent into exile for three years during Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s reign. Six months after 2003 invasion of Iraq to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa saying that the production, stockpiling, and use of weapons of mass destruction are forbidden under Islam. In 2015, an open letter to President Barack Obama from a nephew of Ali Khamenei stated that Khamenei is practicing the Shia doctrine of taqiya in which it is permissible for Muslims to lie to infidels, and in late 2015, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said that Khamenei previously pursued weapons of mass destruction.