In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the highest authority is held by Ayatollah Khomeini, who bears the title of “Supreme Leader” (rahbar).
On this day, it was decided at a referendum that Iran should become an Islamic republic. For this decision voted 99.3 % of voters, i.e. 20,147,855 people. Only 0.7% were against it, i.e. 140,996 votes. The referendum took place after the so-called Iranian Revolution, in which the monarchic power the Shah of Iran Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was ended. The shah left the country and the government was taken over by a group led by the leader of the revolution – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
It was decided, therefore, that Iran will become an Islamic republic. Such a form of government, of course, suggests the foundation of the state on Islamic principles. However, the very term “republic” does mean that there are some concessions to democracy. The Islamic republic can actually be considered a kind of “middle way” between Islamic theocracy and a democratic state.
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the highest authority was received by Ayatollah Khomeini, with the title of “Supreme Leader” (rahbar). It should be noted that the title “Ayatollah” by itself does not indicate the leader of Iran, as it is sometimes mistakenly thought. “Ayatollah” is actually an honorific title for Islamic theological experts. There is a considerable number of Ayatollahs in the world today. It is interesting that next to the “Supreme Leader”, who is the head of state in Iran, there is a function of President of Iran, who is the head of government. Iran’s “Supreme Leader” in principle is more powerful than president. Ayatollah Khomeini as “Supreme Leader” was succeeded by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who performs this function today.