|Supreme Leader of Iran|
|Office of the Supreme Leader|
|Status||Head of State|
|Reports to||Assembly of Experts|
|Residence||House of Leadership|
|Appointer||Assembly of Experts|
|Term length||Life tenure|
|Constituting instrument||Constitution of Iran|
|Formation||3 December 1979|
|First holder||Ruhollah Khomeini|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
|Government of Islamic Republic of Iran|
The Supreme Leader of Iran (Persian : رهبر معظم ایران, romanized: rahbar-e mo'azzam-e irān), also referred to as Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution (رهبر معظم انقلاب اسلامی, rahbar-e mo'azzam-e enqelāb-e eslāmi), but officially called the Supreme Leadership Authority, (مقام معظم رهبری, maqām mo'azzam rahbari) is the head of state as well as the ultimate political and religious authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The armed forces, judiciary, state television, and other key government organizations are subject to the Supreme Leader. The current longtime officeholder, Ali Khamenei, has been issuing decrees and making the final decisions on economy, environment, foreign policy, education, national planning, and everything else in Iran. Khamenei also makes the final decisions on the amount of transparency in elections, and has dismissed and reinstated presidential cabinet appointees. The Supreme Leader directly chooses the ministers of Defense, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs, as well as certain other ministers, such as the Science Minister. Iran's regional policy is directly controlled by the office of the Supreme Leader with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' task limited to protocol and ceremonial occasions. All of Iran's ambassadors to Arab countries, for example, are chosen by the Quds Corps, which directly report to the Supreme Leader.
Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivision of the Indo-European languages. It is a pluricentric language predominantly spoken and used officially within Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan in three mutually intelligible standard varieties, namely Iranian Persian, Dari Persian and Tajiki Persian. It is also spoken natively in the Tajik variety by a significant population within Uzbekistan, as well as within other regions with a Persianate history in the cultural sphere of Greater Iran. It is written officially within Iran and Afghanistan in the Persian alphabet, a derivation of the Arabic script, and within Tajikistan in the Tajik alphabet, a derivation of Cyrillic.
Romanization of Persian or Latinization of Persian is the representation of the Persian language with the Latin script. Several different romanization schemes exist, each with its own set of rules driven by its own set of ideological goals.
The Iranian Armed Forces comprise the Army (Artesh), the Revolutionary Guard Corps (Sepāh) and the Law Enforcement Force (Police) of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The office was established by the Constitution of Iran in 1979, pursuant to the concept of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist. : رهبر معظم, romanized: rahbar-e mo'azzam) is commonly used as a sign of respect – although the Constitution simply designates them as "Leader" (رهبر, rahbar).According to the Constitution, the powers of government in the Islamic Republic of Iran are vested in the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive powers, functioning under the supervision of the Supreme Leader. The style "Supreme Leader" (Persian
The Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist, also called the Governance of the Jurist, is a post-Occultation theory in Shia Islam which holds that Islam gives a faqīh custodianship over people. Ulama supporting the theory disagree over how encompassing custodianship should be. One interpretation – Limited Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist – holds that guardianship should be limited to non-litigious matters including religious endowments (Waqf) judicial matters and the property for which no specific person is responsible. Another – Absolute Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist – maintains that Guardianship should include all issues for which ruler in the absence of Imams have responsibility, including governance of the country. The idea of guardianship as rule was advanced by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in a series of lectures in 1970 and now forms the basis of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The constitution of Iran calls for a faqih, or Vali-ye faqih, to serve as the Supreme Leader of the government. In the context of Iran, Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist is often referred to as "rule by the jurisprudent", or "rule of the Islamic jurist".
The Supreme Leader ranks above the President of Iran and personally appoints the heads of the military, the government, and the judiciary.Originally the constitution required the Supreme Leader to be a Marja'-e taqlid, the highest-ranking cleric in the religious laws of Usuli Twelver Shia Islam. In 1989 however, the constitution was amended and simply asked for Islamic "scholarship", thus the Supreme Leader could be a lower-ranking cleric.
The President of Iran is the head of government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The President is the highest ranking official of Iran. The President carries out the decrees, and answers to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who functions as the country's head of state. Unlike the executive in other countries, the President of Iran does not have full control over the government, which is ultimately under the control of the Supreme Leader. Chapter IX of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran sets forth the qualifications for presidential candidates. The procedures for presidential election and all other elections in Iran are outlined by the Supreme Leader. The President functions as the executive of the decrees and wishes of the Supreme Leader, including: signing treaties with foreign countries and international organizations; and administering national planning, budget, and state employment affairs. The President also appoints the ministers, subject to the approval of Parliament, and the Supreme Leader who can dismiss or reinstate any of the ministers at any time, regardless of the president or parliament's decision. The Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei directly chooses the ministries of Defense, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs, as well as certain other ministries, such as the Science Ministry. Iran’s regional policy is directly controlled by the office of the Supreme Leader with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ task limited to protocol and ceremonial occasions. All of Iran’s ambassadors to Arab countries, for example, are chosen by the Quds Corps, which directly reports to the Supreme Leader.
A nationwide judicial system in Iran was first implemented and established by Abdolhossein Teymourtash under Reza Shah, with further changes during the second Pahlavi era.
In Shia Islam, marjaʿ, also known as a marjaʿ taqlīd or marjaʿ dīnī, literally meaning "source to imitate/follow" or "religious reference", is a title given to the highest level Shia authority, a Grand Ayatollah with the authority to make legal decisions within the confines of Islamic law for followers and less-credentialed clerics. After the Qur'an and the prophets and imams, marājiʿ are the highest authority on religious laws in Usuli Shia Islam.
In its history, Iran only had two Supreme Leaders: Ruhollah Khomeini, who held the position from 1979 until his death in 1989, and Ali Khamenei, who has held the position since Khomeini's death.
The history of Iran, which was commonly known until the mid-20th century as Persia in the Western world, is intertwined with the history of a larger region, also to an extent known as Greater Iran, comprising the area from Anatolia, the Bosphorus, and Egypt in the west to the borders of Ancient India and the Syr Darya in the east, and from the Caucasus and the Eurasian Steppe in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the south.
Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, also known in the Western world as Ayatollah Khomeini, was an Iranian politician and cleric. He was the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which saw the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the end of the 2,500 year old Persian monarchy. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. He was succeeded by Ali Khamenei on 4 June 1989.
In theory, the Supreme Leader is elected and overseen by the Assembly of Experts. However, all candidates for membership at the Assembly of Experts (including the President and the Majlis (parliament)) are appointed by the Guardian Council, whose members in turn, are appointed by the Supreme Leader.Furthermore, all directly-elected members of the Assembly of Experts still require the Supreme Leader's approval even after the Guardian Council's vetting process. Thereby, the Assembly has never questioned the Supreme Leader. There have been cases where incumbent Ali Khamenei publicly criticized members of the Assembly, resulting in their arrest and subsequent removal. There also have been cases where the Guardian Council repealed its ban on particular people after being directed to do so by Khamenei. The Supreme Leader is legally considered "inviolable", with Iranians being routinely punished for questioning or insulting him.
The Assembly of Experts —also translated as the Assembly of Experts of the Leadership or as the Council of Experts— is the deliberative body empowered to designate and dismiss the Supreme Leader of Iran. However all directly-elected members after the vetting process by the Guardian Council still have to be approved by the Supreme Leader of Iran before gaining membership to the Assembly of Experts.
The Guardian Council of the Constitution is an appointed and constitutionally mandated 12-member council that wields considerable power and influence in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Supreme Leader of Iran is elected by the Assembly of Experts (Persian : مجلس خبرگان, Majles-e Khobregan), which is also the only government body in charge of overseeing, choosing and dismissing Supreme Leaders of Iran.
The Supreme Leader is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the [ citation needed ] head of the three branches of the state (the Judiciary, the Legislature, and the Executive).
He oversees, appoints (or inaugurates) and can dismiss the following offices:
In March 1979, shortly after Ruhollah Khomeini’s return from exile and the overthrow of Iran's monarchy, a national referendum was held throughout Iran with the question "Islamic Republic, yes or no?".Although some groups objected to the wording and choice and boycotted the referendum, 98% of those voting voted "yes". Following this landslide victory, the constitution of Iran of 1906 was declared invalid and a new constitution for an Islamic state was created and ratified by referendum during the first week of December in 1979. According to Francis Fukuyama, the 1979 constitution is a "hybrid" of "theocratic and democratic elements" with much of it based on the ideas Khomeini presented in his work Islamic Government: Governance of the Jurist (Hukumat-e Islami). In the work, Khomeini argued that government must be run in accordance with traditional Islamic sharia , and for this to happen a leading Islamic jurist ( faqih ) must provide political "guardianship" (wilayat or velayat) over the people. The leading jurist were known as Marja'.
The Constitution stresses the importance of the clergy in government, with Article 4 stating that
“all civil, criminal, financial, economic, administrative, cultural, military, political, and all other statutes and regulations (must) be keeping with Islamic measures;…the Islamic legal scholars of the watch council (shura yi nigahban) will keep watch over this.”
and the importance of the Supreme Leader. Article 5 states
“during the absence of the removed Twelfth Imam (may God hasten his reappearance) government and leadership of the community in the Islamic Republic of Iran belong to the rightful God fearing… legal scholar (Faqih) who is recognized and acknowledged as the Islamic leader by the majority of the population.”
Article 107 in the constitution mentions Imam Khomeini by name and praises him as the most learned and talented leader for emulation (marja-i taqlid). The responsibilities of the Supreme Leader are vaguely stated in the constitution, thus any ‘violation’ by the Supreme Leader would be dismissed almost immediately. As the rest of the clergy governed affairs on a daily basis, the Supreme Leader is capable of mandating a new decision as per the concept of Vilayat-e Faqih. (Halm, 120-121)
Shortly before Imam Khomeini's death a change was made in the constitution allowing a lower ranking Shia cleric to become Supreme Leader. Khomeini had a falling out with his successor Hussein-Ali Montazeri who disapproved of human rights abuses by the Islamic Republicsuch as the mass execution of political prisoners in late summer and early autumn 1988. Montazeri was demoted as a marja and Khomeini chose a new successor, a relatively low-ranking member of the clergy, Ali Khamene'i. However Article 109 stipulated that the leader be `a source of imitation` (Marja-e taqlid). Khomeini wrote a letter to the president of the Assembly for Revising the Constitution, which was in session at the time, making the necessary arrangements to designate Khamene'i as his successor, and Article 109 was revised accordingly. "Khomeini is supposed to have written a letter to the Chairman of the assembly of Leadership Experts on 29.4.89 in which he emphasised that he had always been of the opinion that the marja'iyat was not a requirement for the office of leader.
The constitution of Iran combines concepts of both democracy and theocracy, theocracy in the form of Khomeini's concept of vilayat-e faqih (Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist), as expressed in the Islamic Republic. According to Ayatollah Khomeini, the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist was not restricted to orphans or mental incompetents, but applied to everyone in absence of the twelfth Imam. Jurists were the only rightful political/governmental leaders because "God had commanded Islamic government" and "no one knew religion better than the ulama" (Islamic clergy).They alone would preserve "Islamic order" and keep everyone from deviating from "the just path of Islam". Prior to the revolution observant Shia Muslims selected their own leading faqih to emulate (known as a Marja'-i taqlid) according to their own decision making. The “congregation rather than the hierarchy decided how prominent the ayatollah was” thus allowing the public to possibly limit the influence of the Faqih.
After the revolution Shia Muslims (or at least Iranian Shia) were commanded to show allegiance to the current vali-e faghih , Guardian Jurist or Supreme Leader. In this new system, the jurist oversaw all governmental affairs. The complete control exercised by the Faqih was not to be limited to the Iranian Revolution because the revolution and its Leader had international aspirations. As the constitution of the Islamic Republic states, it
intends to establish an ideal and model society on the basis of Islamic norms. ... the Constitution provides the necessary basis for ensuring the continuation of the Revolution at home and abroad. In particular, in the development of international relations, the Constitution will strive with other Islamic and popular movements to prepare the way for the formation of a single world community (in accordance with the Koranic verse `This your community is a single community, and I am your Lord, so worship Me` [21:92]), and to assure the continuation of the struggle for the liberation of all deprived and oppressed peoples in the world.
According to author Seyyed Vali Nasr, Khomeini appealed to the masses, during the pre-1979 period, by referring to them as the oppressed and with charisma and political ability was tremendously successful. He became a very popular role model for Shiites and hoped for the Iranian Revolution to be the first step to a much larger Islamic revolution, transcending Shia Islam, in the same way that Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky wanted their revolution to be a world revolution, not just a Russian one.
Duties and Powers given to the Supreme Leader by the Constitution, decrees and other laws are:
English · Persian · Signature
|Lifespan||Place of birth||Notes|
|1||3 December 1979|
– 3 June 1989
(9 years, 182 days)
| Grand Ayatollah |
Sayyid Ruhollah Khomeini
|22 September 1902 – 3 June 1989 (aged 86)||Khomeyn, Markazi Province||Leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran.|
|2||4 June 1989|
(30 years, 73 days)
| Grand Ayatollah |
Sayyid Ali Khamenei
|19 April 1939||Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan Province||Previously served as President of Iran from 1981 to 1989 until Khomeini's death.|
Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei is a Twelver Shia Marja' and the second and current Supreme Leader of Iran, in office since 1989. He was previously President of Iran from 1981 to 1989. Khamenei is the second-longest serving head of state in the Middle East, as well as the second-longest serving Iranian leader of the last century, after Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.
Hussein-Ali Montazeri was an Iranian Shia Islamic theologian, Islamic democracy advocate, writer and human rights activist. He was one of the leaders of the Iranian Revolution in 1979. He was once the designated successor to the revolution's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, with whom he had a falling-out in 1989 over government policies that Montazeri claimed infringed on people's freedom and denied them their rights. Montazeri spent his later years in Qom, and remained politically influential in Iran, especially to the reformist movement. He was widely known as the most knowledgeable senior Islamic scholar in Iran and a Grand Marja of Shia Islam.
Mohammad Yazdi is an Iranian cleric who served as the head of Judiciary System of Iran between 1989 and 1999. In 2015, he was elected to lead Iran's Assembly of Experts, defeating Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president, by a vote count of 47 to 24.
Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad ibn Mahdi al-Hussaini al-Shirazi, commonly known as Mohammad Al-Shirazi, was a Twelver Shia Marja', politician and religious leader.
Velayat-e faqih, also known as Islamic Government, is a book by the Iranian Muslim cleric, faqīh, and revolutionary Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, first published in 1970, and probably the most influential document written in modern times in support of theocratic rule.
A constitutional referendum was held in Iran on 28 July 1989, alongside presidential elections. Approved by 97.6% of voters, It was the first and so far only time the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been amended. It made several changes to articles 5, 107, 109, 111, and added article 176. It eliminated the need for the Supreme Leader (rahbar) of the country to be a marja or chosen by popular acclaim, it eliminated the post of prime minister, and it created a Supreme National Security Council.
This article is a timeline of events relevant to the Islamic Revolution in Iran. For earlier events refer to Pahlavi dynasty and for later ones refer to History of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This article doesn't include the reasons of the events and further information is available in Islamic revolution of Iran.
Khomeinism is the founding ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Impact of the religious and political ideas of the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini include replacing Iran's millennia-old monarchy with theocracy. Khomeini declared Islamic jurists the true holders of not only religious authority but political authority, who must be obeyed as "an expression of obedience to God", and whose rule has "precedence over all secondary ordinances [in Islam] such as prayer, fasting, and pilgrimage."
Many organizations, parties and guerrilla groups were involved in the Iranian Revolution. Some were part of Ayatollah Khomeini's network and supported the theocratic Islamic Republic movement, while others did not and were suppressed. Some groups were created after the fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty and still survive; others helped overthrow the Shah but no longer exist.
Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi is a Grand Iraqi jurist marja', and described as the ‘mastermind’ behind the strategy of the Shiraziyyin, the followers of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad al-Husayni al-Shirazi.
Assembly of Experts for Constitution, also translated the Assembly for the Final Review of the Constitution (AFRC), was a constituent assembly in Iran, elected in the summer of 1979 to write a new constitution for the Islamic Republic Government. It convened on August 18 to consider the draft constitution written earlier, completed its deliberations rewriting the constitution on November 15, and saw the constitution it had written approved by referendum on December 2 and 3, 1979, by over 98 percent of the vote.
The 1989 Iranian Supreme Leader election was an indirect election where the Assembly of Experts members voted to choose the second Supreme Leader of Iran. The election was held on June 4, 1989, the morning after Ruhollah Khomeini's death and Ali Khamenei was elected as his successor with 60 votes out of 74.
A 250 Years Old Person is a book by Ali Khamenei, supreme leader of Islamic Republic of Iran. It is a collection of his lectures on the political combats and struggles of Shia Imams. This book consists of 17 chapters.
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian: نظام جمهوری اسلامی ایران, romanized: Neẓām-e jomhūrī-e eslāmi-e Irān, known simply as Neẓām is the ruling state and current political system in Iran, in power since the revolution and fall of Pahlavi dynasty in 1979.
The House of Leadership is the official residence, bureaucratic office and principal workplace of the Supreme Leader of Iran since 1989.
Ruhollah Khomeini's life in exile refers to the period that Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini spent from 1964 to 1979 in Turkey, Iraq and France, after Mohamed Reza Shah Pahlavi had arrested him twice for dissent from his “White Revolution” announced in 1963. Ayatollah Khomeini was invited back to Iran by the government,and returned to Tehran to a greeting by several million Iranians.
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