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Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei is the Supreme Leader of Iran, and a Shia Marja'. He had also served as the President of Iran from 1981 to 1989. In 2012, Forbes selected him 21st in the list of 'World's Most Powerful People'. Holding absolute power in his country, he has been described as one of only three people having "important influence" during the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Khamenei was the victim of an attempted assassination in June 1981 that paralyzed his right arm, although so far the biggest challenge to his leadership has been the 2009 Iranian election protests following the 2009 presidential elections during which he strongly supported president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (via Freebase)