Consider it a very small victory for Iran.
Forbes’s latest “The World’s Most Powerful People” list places Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, four spots higher than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Khamenei, who comes in at #23 this year, a spot ahead of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, actually dropped two places from last year, when he ranked #21.
Reports that Khamenei’s health is failing don’t seem to have affected his status on the global stage.
The supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, having final say on all domestic and foreign policy issues, has seen his country benefit from the election of the sweet talking Hassan Rouhani to the presidency this year.
Rouhani’s so-called “charm offensive” has, thus far, paid dividends for Iran on the world stage, where Iran has made strides in its effort to engage the West over its nuclear program, to avoid military conflict, much to the chagrin of Netanyahu, who, has called for a tougher stance against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions.