Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, November 13, 2009

Divine right rule in Iran

Divine right to rule is familiar to students of European history. There's even a Chinese version of it. But it's not familiar in Muslim countries. However, in Iran, at least one interpretation of the regime's constitution asserts a divine right to rule for the supreme leader.

Iran's Supreme Leader Cannot Be Removed - Official
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cannot be removed from his post because his legitimacy comes from God, an official close to Iran's most powerful figure was reported Friday as saying...

Mojtaba Zolnour, a Khamenei representative in the elite Revolutionary Guards, told a gathering of Khamenei's representatives in Iranian universities that the clerical body that chose him, the Assembly of Experts, could not remove him.

"The members of the assembly ... do not appoint the Supreme Leader, rather they discover him and it is not that they would be able to remove him any time they wish so," he said, according to a report on the website Mowjcamp, which backs Ahmadinejad's opponent Mirhossein Mousavi.

In theory Khamenei can be removed by the 86-man Assembly of Experts, which approved him as successor to Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989. But the system has never been tested.

"In the Islamic system, the office and the legitimacy of the Supreme Leader comes from God, the Prophet and the Shi'ite Imams, and it is not that the people give legitimacy to the Supreme Leader and are able to remove him when they want," said Zolnour, speaking in the religious city of Qom...

Khamenei has the final say in all matters of state according to the system of Shi'ite religious rule established by [what] Khomeini called 'velayat-e faqih', or rule by a religious jurist.

The jurist rules in the absence of the 12th Imam, a figure in Shi'ite theology directly descended from the Prophet Mohammad who disappeared in 9th century Iraq...

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At 7:12 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

Iran president slammed for Mahdi comments

"Political and religious Iranian figures slammed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his repeated comments about the Mahdi, or who Muslims's believe is mankind's savior, and warned him about the consequences of rumors that he converses with the holy imam..."


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