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Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
Outlook.com

Gambit For The Vizier

In Iran, the play of forces ranges against the Supreme Leader

Gambit For The Vizier
Illustration by Sorit
Gambit For The Vizier
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Xerxes, the King of Persia, invaded Greece in 480 BC. Had the Athenians lost at Marathon, the world would not have known Plato or democracy—a legacy passed through Rome to the West. The impact of democracy on his regime is what Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the same nation, today countenances. The quandary is personal and institutional.

The Iranian consciousness has been moulded over 2,500 years by disparate influences: the Zoroastrian sense of justice; the Persian zest for poetry; acceptance of Islam on Shiite terms; the trauma of a nation exploited without colonisation; and, finally, the anti-Shah hate, transferred to the US. From this Ayatollah Khomeini had conjured a revolution.

Critical to the Islamic regime is the office of the Supreme Leader or Velayat-a-Faqih. It translates as the rule of the most jurisprudent. Khomeini propounded this concept, arguing that even though all governance is profane, the masses can't be left without guidance until the Mahdi (the prophesied redeemer of Islam) reappears. This was...
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