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.

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