Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi is a prominent cleric, politician, and member of the Assembly of Experts. He has been called the "spiritual mentor" of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
But is he really "more powerful" than the President?
Well, that is what one source told US diplomats in September 2009. The Tehran University professor, in a wide-ranging discussion on post-election politics, religion, and society, declared that the "profoundly anti-democratic" Mesbah Yazdi was working behind the scenes to shape the Iranian system. He asserted, ""You can't understand what's been going on in Iran without understanding (the beliefs and activities of) Mesbah-Yazdi."