My Top Ten Lists: Best and Worst Political Leaders in the World

Masoud Kazemzadeh
by Masoud Kazemzadeh

Ten BEST Political Leaders in the World 1900-Present *

1. Dr. Mossadegh

2. Mahatma Gandhi

3. Franklin D. Roosevelt

4. George Orwell

5. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

6. Olaf Palma

7. Dr. Salvador Allende

8. Aung San Suu Kyi

9. Rosa Luxemburg

10. Dr. Sun Yat-sen


Ten WORST Political Leaders in the World 1900-Present *

1. Adolf Hitler

2. Josef Stalin

3. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

4. Osama bin Laden

5. Pol Pot

6. Benito Mussolini

7. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

8. Gen. Augusto Pinochet

9. Idi Amin

10. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

* Choosing "best" and "worst" leaders is not purely objective, because there is a huge subjective, even normative, element to what goes into one’s selection. The above are from the standpoint of an IRANIAN liberal democrat. Each leader in the BEST category has done his or her best to advance the cause of civil liberties, democracy, human rights, and social justice considering his/her environment.

Those in the WORST category are those whose people deserved better, but due to their malevolent influence, their people lost in terms of civil liberties, democracy, human rights, and social justice.


Ten Best Iranian Political Leaders of All Time **

1. Koresh Kabir (Cyrus the Great)

2. Babak Khorramdin

3. Yaaghob Leis Safar

4. Ferdowsi

5. Mossadegh

6. Sattar Khan

7. Karim Khan Zand

8. Dehkhoda

9. Dariush

10. Khayyam

** By political, I also include literary figures who have had enormous political impact on our consciousness.


more from Masoud Kazemzadeh

Mr. Kazemzadeh...

by Midwesty on

This will be my first and last post on your blog. I found your blog interesting but very shallow with respect with your credentials. Leadership has nothing to do with the concept of moral values. You can have a great leader but with vicious personality, at the same time you can have great men/women in values but poor performers in leadership. Of course gathering these two, leadership and morality in one person is highly desirable but morality is not required for a good leader because they are uncorrelated in nature.

Changiz Khan, known as Genghis Khan in the west, performed highly poor on moral scale but was a great leader, in employing, coordinating, and using his resources fully.

Therefore leadership is a measureable and quantitative concept where moral values are exactly the opposite. It is not acceptable to combine these two phrases and conclude a result where the excuse is that there is no objective for these two. Yes there is objective for leadership subject where there is not any clear objectives for moral values.

Please be objective or don't talk about objective subjects in general terms. This is called misleading.   


I'm sorry but putting a

by sadegh on

I'm sorry but putting a powerless runt like Ahmadinejad on a list of the top ten worst leaders of all time lacks seriousness...What about Mao Zedong!!! Some 30 million Chinese died due to starvation as a result of his collectivization of agriculture alone!!! 30 MILLION!!! Let alone if we include the deaths of the Chinese Civil War, the first years of the revolution and then the Cultural Revolution!!!...What about General Pinochet and the myriad of Latin American dictators installed by Washington???

Kind regards, Sadegh


Are you sure?

by Abarmard on

Some names are given, but could you stand tall and claim that all of your list is fair? In what logic you have forgotten Bush? Is Ahmadinejad worse than Bush? in What way?

You have mentioned Khomaini but not Saddam. Why is that?

Question, you have put Musadegh as a THE best political leader of 1900 to present, who took him out? would that person therefore be considered something of an evil?

If you were a westerner then your answer would be Yes! But you are a middle easterner and ignorant to your own history.

Where would Shah fit in regard to Musadegh? Don't romanticize, realize.

Why do Iranians fool themselves and are forgetful about the crimes that has been committed by the western powers against our path to freedom? Our own generation has suffered. Our history has been formed and twisted for us. How long would you want that to continue. How could you stop that loop? Think about it. 

That does not make the west bad, it makes us fools. Those who think that standing up for Iran and historically knowing that the west is not going to assist Iran for Democracy, are blamed to be Islamo Fascist (a western made word to fool the group as such), Marxist, Marxist Islamist and etc.

No. You don't need to be any of the above to realize what has happened in our history. To label people is to not allow the reality shine in our past historical experiences. That's why we are fooled again and again.

Based on what history those people think that the West wants a democratic Iran? I wonder. Their history of course, is current affairs. That's why you'll notice that in the war talks from Israel, they, similar to MKO, take the enemies side against our own people. Think about it.

Today, we are journeying back to the era of forgetfulness, and those who "oppose" the system, those who claim to be the future "democratic" voice of Iran, are attacking Arabs, Islam, and everything and everyone else but the sole responsible pole, The West! Think about it. Fooling us again, again and again.

You can be pro western accomplishments, realizing what the west has got that we like to have also, BUT one must realize how they achieved it. They learned and knew who their friends and enemies are.

If you think Arabs are our enemy, you must know that they are nothing but a puppet of the west. Therefore realize who is the master who runs your "enemies"...Think about it.

I believe all this ends up to be historical knowledge. Those who have it and those who don't. Those who don't will be influenced easily because they just don't know. Those who know history, they also know that certain things has happened before and similar to that we have done something that either worked or not. Think about it.

I always believed that Iranians are smart people, not because of race but geo-political and revolutionary experiences. It's sad to see so many Iranians in the US to have taken worse of the both worlds, of Iran and the US.

Shamlu says:

All the alphabet we had

we couldn't say

we wouldn't say


we could not say it

you imagine it.

Akhavan Sales says in Katibeh that we continuously fall in the same trick over and over because of our lack of historical knowledge. We forget who has done what to us. We either forget, or ignore it!

I suggest to everyone to read Akhavan's Katibeh to show our lack of historical knowledge and Zemestan to show how we were in a dictatorial state. If you have any question about Zemenstan, please email me, I'll be happy to help.
Understanding the foreign intervention to our affairs does not make you a pro IR or Communist! It makes you a responsible human. Think about it.


Maryam and Massod Rajavis are forgotten already?

by ahmad.bahai on

The couple is the worst of the worst on the political scene of Iran and possibly the ME. They carried murder of many Iranains soldiers through their friend Saddam, and nowadays they are invloved in doing the dirty job for the zionists. They call themselves political leaders!!!



by zirak on

They take the top top top place.


You forgot "W" on the top of your list !

by almo5000 on

Al Moshtagh


Mr Kazem ! Right on

by samsam1111 on

We need more folks who get it like you do.the last part of your blog shows you are a true hot blooded Iranian among the Unbrainwashed  %15 who get it .God bless you


ps; I throw in couple of more...Xerxes,Khosrou Parviz, and Mr Kasrawi(an elightened mind among an ocean of ignorants in dark ages)


azaadi tastes good

by azaadeh (not verified) on

so good to hear your voice... please continue writing and enlighten us.


I agree

by Parthian on

With most of the names on all three lists. I would add Shapur the Great on the best 10 ever. Khomeini was an illiterate, degenerate reactionary who I am sure will be judged very harshly by history. The damage he has caused is only second to the Mongols in the past 1000 years...


Nr. 4 and Nr. 10 are not

by Fatollah (not verified) on

Nr. 4 and Nr. 10 are not Leaders, they are worse than Khomeini



by Anonymous1234 (not verified) on

Masoud: I think if Khomeini had the global power that Stalin or Hitler had, he would have done worst than them. So in that context, I think Stalin, Hitler and Khomeini should take the first three spots without any particular order.

IMAM: Your Khomeini "triumphed" because he lied and deceived the people. Mossadegh was not a deceiver, and he cared for his people more than Khomeini cared for his scabs.

"Corrupt tie wearing fokoli"??? LoL! That just gave you away!



by IMAM K (not verified) on

Your Dr. Mossadegh got defeated where Imam Khomeini triumphed. Imam Khomeini was the most beloved leader of all Iranians and the arch-nemisis of secular man. For a corrupt tie wearing fokoli like yourself it is an honor that you despise such a pious divinely guided man.

Iran lives in the Muslim World. Mossadeq's nationalism has zero influence in such a region. It is Imams movement which is guiding the region today and it is his inspiration that led a few thousand Shia guerillas in South of Lebanon to defeat the most ruthless military in a 33 day battle in Summer of 2006.

Todays inspiration is Nasrallah not Che Gueverra.