Supreme Leader of Iran since 1989
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Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei (Persian: سید علی حسینی خامنهای; born 17 July 1939) is the second and current Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in office since 1989. He was previously President of Iran from 1981 to 1989.
- [There is only one possible solution to unrest in the Middle East], "namely the annihilation and destruction of the Zionist state."
- December 31, 1999 speech on Qods Day, as quoted in "Iranian leader urges destruction of Israel", The Spokesman-Review (January 1, 2000)
- Today the world has far more potential than in the past to understand the message of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a). The more human knowledge increases, the more likely it becomes that the message of Islam will gain ground. The more powerful people in different parts of the world use brutal tools in order to suppress human feelings and to bring them under their yoke, the more the ground will be prepared for identifying the light of Islam and the more thirsty human beings will become for Islam. Today we see the signs of this thirst for the message of Islam, which is the message of monotheism, the message of spirituality, the message of justice, the message of human dignity. Human beings are enthusiastic about the message of Islam.
- "Supreme Leader's Speech in a Meeting with Officials and Ambassadors of Islamic Countries", Khamenei.ir (October 25, 2000)
- Iran's stance has always been clear on this ugly phenomenon (Israel). We have repeatedly said that this cancerous tumor of a state should be removed from the region… No one will allow a bunch of thugs, lechers and outcasts from London, America and Moscow to rule over the Palestinians.
- "Iran leader urges destruction of 'cancerous' Israel", CNN (December 15, 2000)
- Furthermore, all the Western politicians, intellectuals and journalists are obliged to pay homage and bow to the monument that commemorates those allegedly killed in the Nazi concentration camps. In other words, all should acknowledge the veracity of something that has not been proven! This is also one of the propaganda means being applied by the Zionists to portray themselves as the victims of persecution!
- "Leader's Statements in a Meeting with Participants in IWMC", Khamenei.ir (January 31, 2002)
- It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region.
- January 15, 2001 remarks at a meeting with organizers of the International Conference for Support of the Intifada, as quoted in "The Iranian Leadership’s Continuing Declarations of Intent to Destroy Israel", Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (2012)
- There are documents showing close collaboration of the Zionists with the Nazi Germany, and exaggerated numbers relating to the Jewish holocaust were fabricated to solicit sympathy of the world public opinion, lay the ground for the occupation of Palestine and to justify the atrocities of the Zionists. There is even evidence on hand that a large number of non-Jewish hooligans and thugs of Eastern Europe were forced to migrate to Palestine as Jews. The purpose was to install in the heart of the Islamic world an anti-Islamic state under the guise of supporting the victims of racism and to create a rift between the East and the West of the Islamic world after 1400 years of unity between those two parts.
- IRNA (April 24, 2001)
- The purchase of any item which helps strengthen Zionism is not permissible.
- The U.S. officials are now revealing their true nature. In his recent speech, the U.S. president spoke like a person who is thirsty for the blood of human beings! He threatened and leveled baseless accusations against other governments and nations. Considering the existing realities on the ground, most of the nations in the world have now come to the conclusion that the U.S. is really the Great Satan. This belief is also substantiated by concrete evidence.
- "Leader's Statements in a Meeting with Participants in IWMC", Khamenei.ir (January 31, 2002)
- Our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) managed to restore our dignity and eliminate the long-standing hegemony of autocracy and colonialism by returning to Islam, by adhering to Islam. He managed to give our people a sense of identity and made them feel that they can stand on their own feet, that they can say "yes" or "no" in the case of essential matters. Our people had been deprived of such things for centuries. It was Islam that gave these things to our people. In any country in any part of the world where the waves of Islamic Awakening are strengthened or started and the people and youth of that country feel that they are moving closer to Islam, there will be this renewed sense of identity and dignity.
- The Americans are stuck in Iraq and have no way out. They are like a wolf whose tail has been caught in a trap.
- The Iraqi people will hate any government established in Iraq that will be recognized as appointed by the Americans, just as the Americans are hated. The Americans' coming to Iraq was a mistake. Their staying was a mistake. Their behavior with the population was a mistake... They must know that certainly, the Islamic world and chiefly the Shiite world will not stay silent in face of this.
- Western countries allow no freedom of expression, which they claim to advocate, with regard to the myth of the massacre of Jews known as the holocaust, and nobody in the West enjoys the freedom of expression to deny it or raise doubts about it. But affronting the sanctities of about 1.5 billion Muslims is permissible in the West.
- Our people say "Death to America," and this is like saying "I seek God's refuge from the accursed Satan," which is recited before any chapter of the Koran, even before "In the name of Allah the Compassionate, the Merciful." Why is this? So the believer will never forget, even for a moment, the presence of Satan. So he will never forget, even for a moment, that Satan is ready to attack him and to destroy his spiritual shield and is faith... The saying "Death to America" is for this purpose.
- Today, America poses a threat to peace and security in the world. Therefore, the slogan "Death to America" is no longer used only by our people. Today, you see throughout the world people setting fire to the effigy of the American president and chanting the slogan "Death to America." This is because of the American regime's exaggerated demands, its arrogance, its vanity, and its desire to control, and because it is a pawn in the hands of the Zionists."
- Should the Iranian nation beg for the right of exploitation of nuclear energy from the bullying world powers until they accept that the nation has a nuclear right?... No. This is not the way of a free and independent nation... Rights cannot be achieved by entreating. If you supplicate, withdraw and show flexibility, arrogant powers will make their threat more serious.
- Iran leader: Won't beg for nuke power June 2007.
- Today, you are hated throughout the world. If you don't know this, you should. The peoples burn your flag. The Islamic peoples all over the world chant: "Death to America!"
- The European races are barbaric. They wear freshly pressed suits and ties, and they smell of eau de cologne, but deep down, they still have the same barbaric nature known from history. They kill with ease. They murder people without any problem. Therefore, beating women in their homes is of no consequence to the [Europeans] and Americans, whereas in an Islamic environment, it is unimaginable.
- Israel Is A Hideous Entity In the Middle East Which Will Undoubtedly Be Annihilated.
- From now on, in any place, if any nation or any group confronts the Zionist regime, we will endorse and we will help. We have no fear expressing this… The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor that must be removed, and God willing it will be.
- The great powers have dominated the destiny of the Islamic countries for years and… installed the Zionist cancerous tumor in the heart of the Islamic world… Many of the problems facing the Muslim world are due to the existence of the Zionist regime.
- Today in many western countries, nobody dares question the Holocaust whose nature is questionable. According to the reports I have received, in America if people decide to write something against homosexuality on the basis of psychological and sociological principles, they will be prevented from publishing their work. How is it that these people feel obligated to respect freedom of expression?
- Don’t allow the colonialists to introduce their terrorists as representatives of Islam (January 21, 2015) 
- To the Youth in Europe and North America,
The recent events in France and similar ones in some other Western countries have convinced me to directly talk to you about them. I am addressing you, [the youth], not because I overlook your parents, rather it is because the future of your nations and countries will be in your hands; and also I find that the sense of quest for truth is more vigorous and attentive in your hearts.
I don’t address your politicians and statesmen either in this writing because I believe that they have consciously separated the route of politics from the path of righteousness and truth.
I would like to talk to you about Islam, particularly the image that is presented to you as Islam. Many attempts have been made over the past two decades, almost since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, to place this great religion in the seat of a horrifying enemy. The provocation of a feeling of horror and hatred and its utilization has unfortunately a long record in the political history of the West.
Here, I don’t want to deal with the different phobias with which the Western nations have thus far been indoctrinated. A cursory review of recent critical studies of history would bring home to you the fact that the Western governments’ insincere and hypocritical treatment of other nations and cultures has been censured in new historiographies.
The histories of the United States and Europe are ashamed of slavery, embarrassed by the colonial period and chagrined at the oppression of people of color and non-Christians. Your researchers and historians are deeply ashamed of the bloodsheds wrought in the name of religion between the Catholics and Protestants or in the name of nationality and ethnicity during the First and Second World Wars. This approach is admirable.
By mentioning a fraction of this long list, I don’t want to reproach history; rather I would like you to ask your intellectuals as to why the public conscience in the West awakens and comes to its senses after a delay of several decades or centuries. Why should the revision of collective conscience apply to the distant past and not to the current problems? Why is it that attempts are made to prevent public awareness regarding an important issue such as the treatment of Islamic culture and thought?
You know well that humiliation and spreading hatred and illusionary fear of the “other” have been the common base of all those oppressive profiteers. Now, I would like you to ask yourself why the old policy of spreading “phobia” and hatred has targeted Islam and Muslims with an unprecedented intensity. Why does the power structure in the world want Islamic thought to be marginalized and remain latent? What concepts and values in Islam disturb the programs of the super powers and what interests are safeguarded in the shadow of distorting the image of Islam? Hence, my first request is: Study and research the incentives behind this widespread tarnishing of the image of Islam.
My second request is that in reaction to the flood of prejudgments and disinformation campaigns, try to gain a direct and firsthand knowledge of this religion. The right logic requires that you understand the nature and essence of what they are frightening you about and want you to keep away from.
- Message of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei To the Youth in Europe and North America, Khamenei.ir (January 21, 2015)
- It goes without saying that the slogan does not mean death to the American nation; this slogan means death to the US’s policies, death to arrogance.
- Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Explains 'Death to America' Slogan (November 3, 2015)
Hajj hijacked by oppressors, Muslims should reconsider management of Hajj (September 2015) edit
- For Muslims, the season of hajj is the season of pride and glory in the eyes of God’s servants, the season of enlightening hearts, the season of humility before the Creator and of solemn prayer. Hajj is a heavenly, earthly, divine and communal obligation. ... During this unparalleled obligation, temporal and spatial security bestows tranquility on the hearts of human beings like a clear sign and a brilliant star and draws hajj pilgrims out of the siege of insecurity by domineering oppressors that constantly threatens humanity and it helps humanity taste the pleasure of security during a particular period of time. ... Abrahamic hajj, which Islam has presented to Muslims as a gift, is the manifestation of pride, spirituality, unity and glory. It demonstrates to ill-wishers and enemies the greatness of the Islamic Ummah and its reliance on God’s eternal power. It highlights the distance between Muslims and the cesspool of corruption, humiliation and tyranny that international oppressors and bullies impose on human communities. ... Those who have reduced hajj to a religious-tourist trip and have hidden their enmity and malevolence towards the faithful and revolutionary people of Iran under the name of “politicizing hajj”, are themselves small and puny satans who tremble for fear of jeopardizing the interests of the Great Satan, the U.S.
- Saudi rulers, who have obstructed the path of Allah and Masjid ul-Haraam this year and who have blocked the proud and faithful Iranian pilgrims’ path to the Beloved’s House, are disgraced and misguided people who think their survival on the throne of oppression is dependent on defending the arrogant powers of the world, on alliances with Zionism and the U.S. and on fulfilling their demands. And on this path, they do not shy away from any treason.
- Almost one year has now passed since the horrifying events in Mina, as a result of which several thousand people tragically lost their lives- under the hot sun with thirsty lips- and this happened on the day of Eid while they were in the clothes of ihram. Shortly before that, another group of people were crushed to death in Masjid ul-Haraam while they were worshiping and performing tawaf and salat. Saudi rulers were at fault in both cases. This is what all those present, observers and technical analysts agree upon. Some experts maintain that the events were premeditated. The hesitation and failure to rescue the half-dead and injured people, whose enthusiastic souls and enthralled hearts were accompanying their praying tongues on Eid ul-Adha, is also obvious and incontrovertible. The heartless and murderous Saudis locked up the injured with the dead in containers- instead of providing medical treatment and helping them or at least quenching their thirst. They murdered them.
- The hearts of their families are still broken and bereaved and our people remain grief-stricken and angry. Instead of apology and remorse and judicial prosecution of those who were directly at fault in that horrifying event, Saudi rulers- with utmost shamelessness and insolence- refused to allow the formation of an international Islamic fact-finding committee.
- Instead of being tried as the accused, they acted like the plaintiff and with increased malice and vileness, they revealed their long-standing enmity towards the Islamic Republic and towards any flag of Islam raised to confront kufr and arrogance.
- Their propaganda mouthpieces- from the politicians whose behavior towards the Zionists and the U.S. is a source of disgrace for the world of Islam, to impious and haraam-eating muftis who blatantly issue fatwas against the Book and Sunnah, and to media minions who are not even deterred by codes of professional conduct from spreading and telling lies- are making futile efforts to show that the Islamic Republic is at fault for depriving Iranian pilgrims of this year’s hajj pilgrimage.
- The fitna-promoting rulers who by forming and arming wicked takfiri groups, have plunged the world of Islam into civil wars, murdering and injuring the innocent and shed blood in Yemen, Iraq, the Levant, Libya and other countries- the godless politicians who have extended the hand of friendship towards the Zionist regime, have closed their eyes on the Palestinians’ sufferings and heartrending tragedies and have spread their oppression and betrayal to the cities and villages of Bahrain.
- They have made the divine sanctuary unsafe for everybody.
- Because of these rulers’ oppressive behavior towards God’s guests, the world of Islam must fundamentally reconsider the management of the two holy places and the issue of hajj. Negligence in this regard will confront the Islamic Ummah with more serious problems in the future.
- Underpriviliged according to Quran doesn't mean poor people, it means faithful who fight tyrants, The Earth's Heirs.
- Perhaps, there have been few historic eras during which humanity was in as much need as the present time for the existence of a savior. Humanity suffers from poverty, disease, perversion and sins. It is afflicted with injustice, inequality and deep and growing class rifts. Humanity is subject to the abuse of power at the hands of big powers. They abuse science and natural discoveries, the capabilities discovered in nature. Humanity is faced with all these. These things have caused humans, throughout the world, to feel exhausted and to feel the need for a liberating hand.
- "Creating a centralized social security system for individuals" and "Creating a national database for Iranians by connecting different databases to each other" are among the experts' suggestions to reduce the people's problems.
- Europeans are constantly stating anti Iranian sentiments, while themselves make worse interventions in regions issues they tell us don't intervene, While Britain and France have atomic missiles and Germany on the road to it they tell us not to have normal missiles.
- The enemy demons humans kinds and Jin kinds demons have banded. And spy agencies of many countries are working against us.
- It was the English who masterminded the plot and who persisted in it and then, Zionist capitalists executed it with their money and weapons. The Soviet Union too was one of the first governments that officially recognized the establishment of that illegitimate regime and later on dispatched a large number of Jews to that area.*
- Those same scoundrels are criticizing our elections. An American official commented on the Iranian elections. Despite their own fiasco, which is still before them, they have found their tongues after several months and speak against our elections. But with their situation and the fiasco they created, they shouldn’t say even a single word about our elections.
- The enemies hoped the turnout would be about 20%. Considering the pandemic, which is said to have decreased the turnout by 10%, the actual turnout was about 60%, which is a good turnout.
- I extend my congratulations to the brave men of the 86th flotilla of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy on their grand and successful naval mission.
- The presence of even one single American in Iraq is too much
- Of course, today’s Mongols, that is, the West, have different appearances and forms of the onslaught. In addition to the dark history of their crimes during the colonial period, they have also been invasive during our era, by equipping rabid dogs like Saddam with all kinds of weapons.
- Silence of the Muslim governments in the face of such an invasion, which is an invasion on them and on the Islamic ummah, and even supporting it, as some did recently, has weakened those countries and has subjugated them.
- The [Israel] regime has only two scenarios in front of it, namely the bad scenario and the worse scenario.
Quotes about Khamenei edit
- Today, many of us picked up our newspapers, and we were horrified to see the sight of 10 American sailors on their knees, with their hands on their heads. In that State of the Union, President Obama didn't so much as mention the 10 sailors that had been captured by Iran. President Obama's preparing to send $100 billion or more to the Ayatollah Khamenei. And I'll tell you, it was heartbreaking. But the good news is the next commander-in-chief is standing on this stage. And I give you my word, if I am elected president, no service man or service woman will be forced to be on their knees, and any nation that captures our fighting men will feel the full force and fury of the United States of America.
- I tell the Iranians that if they hear from people here or there that pictures of Ayatollah Khamenei are hung in Iraqi homes, it is a lie.
- Sayyed Ayad Jamal Aldin: Iraqis Do Not Put Pictures of Khamenei in Their Homes. Al-Arabiya TV (January 3, 2005).
- Hizbullah chose to be loyal to the regime in Iran, to the rule of the Jurisprudent, Hizbullah made a religious choice – and it is free to make such a choice... It chose to consider Ali Khamenei in Iran as their source of emulation. They turn to him to ask what is permitted and what is forbidden.
- Lebanese Shiite Scholar Muhammad Ali Al-Husseini Slams Hizbullah, Iran, and Syria, and Declares Support for Saudi Efforts in the Middle East. MEMRI (August 18, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-08-22.
- Khamenei & Co. do not think we will respond, do not fear Western action, and believe this is a historic movement for the advance of their vision of clerical fascism.
- Michael Ledeen (February 17, 2006). "A Mullah’s-Eye View of the World". National Review Online.
- Khomeini was succeeded as Supreme Leader by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who stymied a weak 1990s 'reform' movement and backed the 2005 election of Iran's current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a radical demagogue and rabid anti-Semite who has denied the Holocaust, declared he wishes to exterminate Israel, and whose pursuit of an Iranian nuclear arsenal, in defiance of the West, may yet bring the world to nuclear catastrophe.
- Simon Sebag Montefiore, Monsters: History's Most Evil Men and Women (2009), p. 186
- When Khomeini died in 1989, his nominated successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was duly chosen as supreme leader, though he lacked Khomeini’s unique authority. Nonetheless, the Iranian Islamic Republic has been highly successful in projecting Shiite and Iranian power, seeking nuclear weapons, using militias such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and involving itself in the wars in Iraq and Syria. It is an aggressive, oppressive theocracy yet its hybrid semi-democracy, with elected presidents and parliaments, has given it the flexibility to survive and to build power unprecedented since the days of the Persian empire.
- Simon Sebag Montefiore, Titans of History: Giants Who Made Our World (2012)
- [O]ne of God's great graces, alongside the Islamic Republic, is the presence of the leader – this great leader who enjoys the grace of God. I say this out of experience, not as a gesture of politeness. They should be aware of the value of this great leader, and know how to make the most of this grace, and thank God for this. They should preserve this. With God's help, they should benefit the most from this great personality.
- We find ourselves in front of a great and exceptional personality who is criticized - even in Iran. Our responsibility is to introduce this great Imam to the nation, This is the very important and sensitive mission of this conference.
- Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbullah Sec.-Gen. Hassan Nasrallah: We Received Guidance from Khamenei during the War. MEMRI (August 11, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-08-28. 
- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on June 13, 2019, blamed Iran for attacks on ships in the Gulf of Oman. Iran had no motive for the recent attack on civilian vessels in the Gulf of Oman, but the US has motives to falsely blame Iran for it. It appears that Mike Pompeo has a hard time kicking his old habits. He appears to be as smug about lying as a CIA operative as he is as Secretary of State. Categorically blaming the Iranians for the recent oil attack tankers has left allies scratching their heads; and perhaps leaving foes thinking: “Thank God my enemy is so stupid”! On June 13, 2019, as Ayatollah Khamenei was holding talks in Tehran with Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, two oil tankers carrying oil to Japan were attacked. As investigations into the incident were just beginning, Pompeo had already concluded his assessment and had it ready for the press. Much to the audible surprise of the world, and without any proof or supporting documents, he laid the blame firmly at Iran’s feet citing “intelligence”...
- Despite efforts to disguise his hatred of Israel in Islamic terms... Khamenei is more influenced by Western-style anti-Semitism than by classical Islam's checkered relations with Jews. His argument about territories becoming "irrevocably Islamic" does not wash, if only because of its inconsistency. He has nothing to say about vast chunks of former Islamic territory, including some that belonged to Iran for millennia, now under Russian rule. Nor is he ready to embark on Jihad to drive the Chinese out of Xinjiang, a Muslim khanate until the late 1940s. Israel, which in terms of territory accounts for one per cent of Saudi Arabia, is a very small fry. Khamenei's shedding of tears for "the sufferings of Palestinian Muslims" are also unconvincing. To start with, not all Palestinians are Muslims. And, if it were only Muslim sufferers who deserved sympathy, why doesn't the "Supreme Guide" beat his chest about the Burmese Rohingya and the Chechens massacred and enchained by Vladimir Putin, not to mention Muslims daily killed by fellow-Muslims across the globe?
- Khamenei is certainly better educated than the late Khomeini. At least he can speak and write correct Persian and Arabic, something the late Ayatollah never managed. From available evidence Khamenei also has a better knowledge of Islam and its history than Khomeini did. Nevertheless, Khamenei has never been accepted as a theologian or Islamic scholar, but as a political leader, bestowing on him a degree of dangerous ambiguity. That ambiguity enables him to hit much higher than his weight by using his political position as long as the going is good. However, the slightest sign that his political power may be on the wane or seriously challenged could expose him as a prophet without armor. And that, in the context of Iran’s violent politics, created of the same substance as angels or not, is a dicey situation to be in, to say the least.
- Want a trip into bizarroland? Take a look at the Twitter feed for Iran's 'Supreme Guide' Ayatollah Khamenei. No, his Twitter feed hasn't been hacked by Al Sharpton. Nor is this a spoof site. It's the real online megaphone for the Iranian dictator. This pasty old man doesn't give a flying fork about black people, especially those who live in the United States. When he and his underlings chant 'Death to America', they don't mean death to white America. They're talking about the whole country, from our black president at the top to undocumented immigrants on the bottom and everyone in between.
- Since his election as president of Iran in June 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has caused something of a sensation by, among other things, questioning the reality of the Holocaust and suggesting that Israel be moved in Europe or Alaska. His outrageous speeches have been good theatre for both his supporters and for foreign opponents who want to demonize him. However, his power is actually quite limited. For example, even with the support of the Iranian legislature, he cannot make law, and he is not the commander-in-chief of the Iranian armed forces. Above the elected government in Iran is an unelected twelve-man Guardian Council of mullahs, headed by Ayatollah Khamenei, who has ruled the nation since the death of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989. Khamenei is the leader of the military, and the Guardian Council has the right to veto any law passed by the elected government. Since 2001, Khamenei has undone the reforms that had been gradually changing the face of Iran.
- David Wallechinsky, Tyrants: The World's 20 Worst Living Dictators (2006), p. 2
See also edit