Iran’s Theocracy Implodes

Khomeini then used his personal popularity and revolutionary authority to install an absolutism centered on velayat-e faqih or guardianship of Islamic jurists headed by an autocratic supreme leader. The current supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei follows the tenets of his late teacher, regarding himself as God’s singular representative on Earth. To a growing number of Iranians, however, religious fundamentalism is a luxury they can no longer afford. Half of them are under the age of 40 with no ideological connection to the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Their difficulties and desires of life take precedence over doctrine and dogma. At least 12 percent of adults are unemployed. An inflation rate of about 20 percent saps their meager purchasing power. They face a housing shortage. They are frustrated as well by 30 years of sociopolitical repression impinging on all aspects of daily life in the name of religion.

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