Ali Hosseini Khamenei - Iran
Ali Hosseini Khamenei (Born July 17, 1939)
The Supreme Leader of Iran and Muslim Cleric, Khamenei, succeeded Ruhollah Khomeini — the leader of Iranian Revolution — elected by the Assembly of Experts on June 4, 1989. Although Iran has a president, the supreme leader is the dominant political figure in the country’s politics.
Khamenei has the key that holds descritionary powers to decide whether he wants to keep the country locked or have it opened. Khamenei has always gone for the first option with no signs of capitulating despite facing a widespread criticism. Khamenei has been reported of having ordered grave acts against humanity jailing numerous political and shutting the mouth of all the citizens demanding the basic human rights.
With his right arm paralysed in a failed attempt of assassination in 1981, Khamenei is said to have been arrested six times before being sent to a three-year exile during Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s reign. He has reportedly reissued a fatwa saying the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons is forbidden under Islam. He holds the title of Sayyid, which means that he claims direct patrilinial descent from Muhammad’s daughter.
As a close confidant of Ruhollah Khomeini, Khamenei was a key figure in the Iranian Revolution and he was paid off in return with the post of Tehran’s Friday prayers Imam in 1979 after a forced resignation of Hussein-Al Montazeri. He had brief stints as Deputy Minister for Defence and a supervisor of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards. After the assassination of Mohammad-Ali Rajai in 1981, Khamenei was elected to the post winning the Presidential Election by a landslide vote the same year.
Although Khomeini had wanted to keep clerics out of the presidency, his protege had already done enough to force a change in mind and became the first cleric to serve in the office. Khamenei had already cleared his intention as soon as he assumed his office vowing to eliminate “deviation, liberalism and American-influenced leftists”. He gave continuity to the state repression and terror to counter the protests — violent or non-violent — against government, assassinations, guerilla activity and insurrections. Thousands of rank-and-file members of insurgent groups were killed, often by revolutionary courts.
After the death of Khomeini, Khamenei was elected the Supreme Leader by 60 out of 74 members in the Assembly of Experts in 1989. Khamenei is accused to have knowledge about Mykonos restaurant assassinations in April 1997 that led to German court issuing an international arrest warrant for Iranian intelligence minister Hojjat al-Islam Ali Fallahian. Iranian officials categorically denied their involvement but it ended up creating a diplomatic crisis between Europe and Iran for more than eight months. Khomenei made several changes after being elected the Supreme Leader. He brought many of the powers of the presidency with him into the office, turning it into an “omnipotent overseer of Iran’s political scene”.
Officials under Khamenei influence the country’s various powerful, and sometimes bickering, institutions, including “the parliament, the presidency, the judiciary, the Revolutionary Guards, the military, the intelligence services, the police agencies, the clerical elite, the Friday prayer leaders and much of the media”, as well as various “nongovernmental foundations, organizations, councils, seminaries and business groups”. Under him, the government is said to resemble “a clerical oligarchy more than an autocracy.” Tthe executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government all operate under his absolute sovereignty; Khamenei is Iran’s head of state, commander in chief, and top ideologue.
As Khamenei enjoys a massive power in a world that is gradually making its permanent shift towards democracy, he has earned millions of enemies who want him to relinquish the power. There have been the voices which he has always succeeded in silencing. In 2012 at the United Nations Security Council, Iranian human rights activist and writer Reza Pahlavi submitted a list of hundreds of political prisoners and civilians who are said to have been oppressed or jailed by Khamenei for advocating for their rights and voicing against his totalitarian dictatorship.
Pahlavi’s Report to UN
These acts constitute systemic and continuing violations of human rights and are subject to a classification as “crimes against humanity” as defined in Article 7 of the Rome Statute. These acts are directed against all Iranian citizens of all social classes, who are demanding that their human rights, as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, be respected.
In this wave of repression that affects the entire population, the Islamic Republic has used cruel, inhuman and degrading means and methods against many Iranian citizens. Hundreds of political prisoners from all categories of the Iranian people represent all democratic tendencies and are now oppressed. Security forces and intelligence services of Iran use the accusation of “crimes against national security” to justify their arbitrary arrests and to remove all proof and evidence attesting to the serious and systematic human rights violations in which they are engaged.
On this basis, lawyers and defenders of human rights are prevented from accomplishing their mission: they are intimidated and some are arrested and imprisoned. Nasrin Sotoudeh, Abdulfatah Soltani, Hengameh Shahidi, Mohammad Seifzadeh and Kohyar Goudarzi are now silenced for these reasons. Their only crime is to have demanded respect of human rights for their compatriots.
After the fraudulent re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the people of Iran have experienced increased and unprecedented repression, implemented on the basis of a plan conceived, considered and prepared by the highest authorities of the regime. During the crackdown, security forces have committed crimes against humanity including murder, Imprisonment, torture and rape, enforced disappearance and persecution of various groups for political, religious or sexual reasons.
The Oslo Times International News Network