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The Supreme Leader of Iran is the highest ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The post was established by the constitution in accordance with the concept of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists. The title "Supreme" Leader is often used as a sign of respect; however, this terminology is not found in the constitution of Iran, which simply referred to the "Leader". The leader is more powerful than the President of Iran and appoints the heads of many powerful posts in the military, the civil government, and the judiciary. In its history, the Islamic Republic has had two Supreme Leaders: Ruhollah Khomeini, who held the position from 1979 until his death in 1989, and Sayyed Ali Khamenei, who has held the position since Khomeini's death. (via Freebase)