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Ruhollah Moosavi Khomeini (Persian: روح‌الله خمینی‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}‎, [ruːholˈlɑːhe χomeiˈniː], 24 September 1902 – 3 June 1989) was an Iranian Ayatollah, revolutionary, politician, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of the Pahlavi monarchy and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. He was succeeded by Ali Khamenei.

Khomeini was a Mujtahid or faqih (an expert in Islamic law) and author of more than 40 books, but he is primarily known for his political activities. He spent more than 15 years in exile for his opposition to the last Shah. In his writings and preachings he expanded the theory of velayat-e faqih, the "guardianship of the jurisconsult (clerical authority)", to include theocratic political rule by Islamic jurists. This principle <ref>Abrahamian, Iran, (1982) p.478–479</ref><ref>Hamid Algar, 'Development of the Concept of velayat-i faqih since the Islamic Revolution in Iran,' paper presented at London Conference on vilayat al-faqih, in June 1988, quoted in "The Rule of the Religious Jurist in Iran" by Abdulaziz Sachedina, p.133 in Iran at the Crossroads, Edited by John Esposito and R.K. Ramazani]</ref> was appended to the new Iranian constitution<ref>Moin, Khomeini, (2000), p.218</ref> after being put to a referendum.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

In 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini created the Basij Mostazafan, a voluntary mass movement of mainly young people. When the Iran–Iraq war started in 1980, Khomeini issued a Jihad fatwa and these were incorporated into the Iranian military. He was named Man of the Year in 1979 by American news magazine TIME for his international influence,<ref name=TIME_1979>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> and has been described as the "virtual face of Islam in Western popular culture"<ref name=nasr>Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p.138</ref> where he remains a controversial figure. He was known for his support of the hostage-takers during the Iran hostage crisis<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> and for calling the US Government the "Great Satan". Khomeini called the USSR the "Lesser Satan" and said that Iran should support neither.<ref name="katz2010">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

Khomeini held the title of Grand Ayatollah and is officially known as Imam Khomeini inside Iran and by his supporters internationally;<ref name="a">Moin, Khomeini, (2001), p.201</ref> he is generally referred to as Ayatollah Khomeini by others.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Since the beginning of his rule, Khomeini attempted to establish good relations between Sunnis and Shias.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref>

Iran's course of economic development floundered under Khomeini's rule, and his pursuit of victory in the Iran–Iraq war ultimately proved futile.<ref name="britannica.com">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> In 1982, there was an attempted military coup against Khomeini.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Khomeini for a long time suffered from several kinds of cancer and had several heart attacks. He died of intestinal cancer and a heart attack in June 1989.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref name="news.google.com">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Khomeini's gold-domed tomb in Tehrān’s Behesht-e Zahrāʾ cemetery has since become a shrine for his supporters.<ref name="britannica.com"/> In 2009, a suicide bomber attacked the Mausoleum of Khomeini.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> After the death of Ruhollah Khomeini, Ali Khamenei became the Supreme Leader of Iran in 1989. There have been rifts between Ali Khamenei and Ruhollah Khomeini's family.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

While Khomeini has often been described as a traditional cleric, he was a major innovator in Iran due to both his political theory and his religious-oriented populist strategy.<ref>Ervand Abrahamian, Iran Between Two Revolutions (1982), p. 479</ref> Ayatollah Khomeini said, "Those intellectuals who say that the clergy should leave politics and go back to the mosque speak on behalf of Satan."<ref>Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran, Elaine Sciolino</ref> Ruhollah Khomeini is legally considered "inviolable" in Iran, and people are regularly punished for insulting him.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>


Ruhollah Khomeini sections
Intro  Early years  Early political activity  Life in exile  Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran  Life under Khomeini  Death and funeral  Political thought and legacy  Appearance and habits  Mystique  Family and descendants  Works   Pictures gallery   Notes  References  Sources  External links  

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