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The Third Jihad
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To truly understand the Iranian regime’s radical principles, one need not look further than the preamble to the State Constitution of Iran: “The basic characteristic of this revolution, which distinguishes it from other movements that have taken place in Iran during the past hundred years, is its ideological and Islamic nature.”
The role of the revolutionary government is “opening up before them [the nation] the true path of Islamic ideological struggle, and giving greater intensity to the struggle of militant and committed Muslims both within the country and abroad.”
The spiritual leader of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 was Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, one of the main opponents of the Shah Pahlavi who had brought modernity to Iran. Khomeini went from exiled opponent of the regime to Supreme Leader of Iran, the highest ranking political and religious authority—a lifetime position created by the nation’s newly formed constitution. He changed his religious title to Imam, a label given by Shiites to the descendants of Mohammad believed to be part of his prophetic dynasty. Prior to Khomeini’s self-appointment, there had not been a living Imam for close to 1,000 years. The state was renamed the Islamic Republic of Iran.
So now the Ahmadinejad people and the Khamenei people are fighting it out in the streets of Tehran. This is the latest phase in the fight over who will be the next Supreme Leader of Iran, after the passing of Khamenei.