Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was once a student revolutionary himself, perhaps not much different from the thousands of protesters who this week have taken to the streets in Iran.
Khamenei became a political activist while a religious scholar studying under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, among others, according to his biography on his official Web site.
He was part of a circle of clerics who opposed the rule of the shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, and was jailed by the shah's secret police, the Savak, at least six times in the 1960s and 1970s. He says he was tortured in prison before being exiled in 1976, three years before the revolution that deposed the shah. Read full article »