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6. Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Kh?mene’i

Country: Iran
In power since: 1989
Population: 75.4 million

1989 GDP per capita: $3,703
2010 GDP per capita: $11,025
GDP per capita change since 1989: +197.7%

Human Development Index 2010
Rank: 70th
Score: 0.702

Transparency International CPI 2010
Rank: 146th
Score: 2.2

Ayatollah Ali Kh?mene’i became the Supreme Leader of Iran in 1989, when he was appointed by the Assembly of Experts to succeed Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

While Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is Iran's sixth and current president, Kh?mene’i, who is Iran's spiritual leader, is the de facto ruler who has the last say in any political or religious matter.

Kh?mene’i has drawn international criticism for his oppression of political opposition in Iran, which include beatings by vigilantes and arrests. Other points of contention include Ali Khamenei's hardline opposition to American involvement in the Middle East and the State of Israel.

The Huffington Post reported in 2009 that Ali Khamenei criticized U.S. President Obama for going down the "same wrong path" as former President George W. Bush, due to Obama's support for Israel's right to defend itself from Palestinian attacks.

Photo: Kaveh Kazemi | Getty Images