The political structure of the Iranian regime was by 1980 as unique as the Libyan and would experience more major changes in the 1980s than any of the other defiant dictatorships. Only (Grand Ayatollah) Khomeini’s continuing personal theocratic or clerical rule over this predominantly Shiite Muslim country would provide an underlying stability, despite such outward dramatic changes as the establishing and discarding of the façade of IRP party-state dictatorship. The Khomeini-headed revolution that had replaced the Shah’s monarchical regime in 1978-9 with an Islamic Republic would lead on to almost a decade of apparent instability in political structure. The Islamic Republic’s democratic institutions were taken over by an apparent party-state dictatorship that ended in 1987 with the Islamic Republican Party’s dissolution, revealing the underlying framework of clerical rule that in turn shifted from a personal to collective form in 1989 with the death of Khomeini. By then he had overseen the development of a unique form of modern clerical dictatorship that should be termed Khomeinist in recognition of its founder.
KeywordsEconomic Reform Islamic Republic Economic Liberalisation Islamic Revolution Collective Leadership
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