Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei Quick Facts
CNN Editorial Research
Here is an overview of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
Date of Birth: July 17, 1939
Place of birth: Mashhad, Iran
Birth name: Seyyed Ali Khamenei
Dad: Ayatollah Sayyid Jawad Husaini Khamenei
Mother: Name not publicly available
Wedding: Married in 1964
Children: Mostafa, Mojtaba, Massoud, Maysam, Hoda and Boshra
Education: Studied under the future Ayatollah Khomeini at the Islamic Seminary in Qom, Iran
Religion: IslamicShia Muslim
Also known as the Supreme Leader.
1962 – With Khomeini, begins his involvement in the protests, opposing the policies of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
1977 – Together with other clerics, forms the Association of Fighting Clerics, which becomes the Party of the Islamic Republic.
1980-1987 – Secretary General and member of the central command of the Party of the Islamic Republic.
June 1981 – Injured when a bomb placed in a tape recorder explodes during a press conference.
October 13, 1981 – August 3, 1989 – President of Iran.
March 1985 – Survives when a suicide bomb explodes nearby.
June 4, 1989-present – Is provisionally elected supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran after the death of Khomeini.
July 28, 1989 – A referendum formalizes his election and a group of religious leaders later confirms his election as supreme leader.
May 2011 – Khamenei locks herself in a struggle for public power with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
February 2012 – Issues statement that Iran will support any nation or group fighting against Israel.
March 2012 – Responds to tensions involving Iran’s nuclear program and welcomes US President Barack ObamaThe comment that “it is in the best interests of the United States, Israel and the world” to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis peacefully.
March 2012 – Khamenei’s allies win around 75% of the seats in the legislative elections against the rival opposition movement Ahmadinejad.
March 21st 2013 – Khamenei, in a televised speech, threatens Tel Aviv and Haifa by declaring “Sometimes the leaders of the Zionist regime (Israel) threaten to launch a military invasion, but they themselves know that if they make the slightest mistake, the Islamic Republic will wipe out Tel Aviv and Haifa. “
October 21, 2015 – Khamenei conditionally approves nuclear deal signed between his country and six world powers in July.
February 7, 2017 – According to his website, Khamenei tells a gathering of Iranian air force commanders in Tehran, “We thank this new guy in the White House though, because he has done a lot of the job that we tried to do over the past decades: revealing the true face of America. We had worked to show the world the depth of corruption within the US government and the ranks and files of the ruling elite; [US President Donald] Trump did so within days of arriving at the White House.
January 9, 2018 – Speaking on the anniversary of the Iranian revolution that began in 1978, Khamenei said Iranians have the right to protest. But he also blames the United States and Israel for the most recent civil unrest.
Aug 13, 2018 – In a speech published on its website, Khamenei says there would be “no war, and we will not negotiate with the United States” following the Asset administration’s first wave of sanctions reimposed on Iran after the United States announced its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May. Khamenei seems to contradict Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who previously said Iran was willing to hold talks with the United States to resolve the issue – something Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton dismissed as possible “propaganda.”
June 24, 2019 – Trump announces new sanctions against Iran in part to retaliate after the downing of a US drone, with punitive measures planned to target Khamenei, military officials and Iran’s top diplomat.
January 5, 2020 – After General Qasem Soleimani was murdered in a US drone strike in Baghdad, Khamenei’s military adviser Hassan Dehghan said the “The answer will certainly be military and against military sites.”
January 17, 2020 – For the first time in eight years, Khamenei leads Friday prayers in Tehran, calling American officials “American clowns” in his provocative sermon.
November 28, 2020 – A day after the apparent assassination of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Khamenei vows revenge for his murder. Iran has blamed Israel for the attack and said the operation bore the hallmark of Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, Mossad.
January 8, 2021 – Khamenei prohibits the importation of Covid-19 vaccines from the United States and Great Britain to Iran. In an appearance on state television, he called vaccines unreliable.
June 19, 2021 – Khamenei’s close ally, Ebrahim Raisi, wins the presidential election. The election of the intransigent head of the judiciary, who has a brutal human rights record, suggests he is prepared to succeed Khamenei one day. The overall voter turnout is 48.8%, the lowest since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979.
June 25, 2021 – Iranian state television reports that Khamenei received his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Iran, known as the CovIran Barekat vaccine. Its use was approved in mid-June, according to Iranian authorities.
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