"In this contest, there is a claim on both sides for the spirit of the 1979 revolution. But there is also a recognition, I think for Mousavi, that the Islamicness of the Islamic Republic has led Iran to this depraved state of affairs."
"Despite its formal name -- the Islamic Republic of Iran -- the political system now overseen by Ali Khamenei has few supporters among the recognized grand ayatollahs and their large circle of clerical fellow-travellers. In traditional Shi'ite thought, legitimate political authority may be exercised only by the line of the Holy Imams, the last of whom went into hiding to escape the agents of the rival Sunni caliphs and has not been heard from since 941. The return of the Hidden Imam, which will usher in an era of perfect peace and justice on earth, is eagerly awaited by all believers. Until then, all political power is seen as corrupt and corrupting by its very nature, and as such it must be avoided whenever possible.
Historically, this has served the Shi'ite clergy well, forging a close bond with the people, as intercessors with the state authorities at times of acute crisis, a privileged and influential position only rarely achieved by their Sunni counterparts. Yet, it stands in direct opposition to Ayatollah Khomeini's radical religious notion of direct clerical rule and has been the source of underlying tensions within the clerical class for three decades. The dirty little secret of the Islamic Republic is the fact that it is seen as illegitimate by huge swathes of the traditional Shi'ite clergy."
"In January 1987 Khomeini declared the principle of the "Absolute Rule of the Jurist" (velayet-e motlaqeh faqih). According to this concept, the decisions taken in the interest of the Islamic state by the Supreme Leader have precedence over religious rules, even over such fundamental commandments as those of prayer, fasting, and the pilgrimage to Mecca. In the end, practical constraints forced Khomeini to allow reasons of state to take precedence over religion -- this was a policy that he had criticized in the time of the Shah, and he had hoped to eliminate it by introducing a theocracy in which the highest political and religious authority would be combined in just one person."