chapter  5
Khamenei’s succession to Supreme Leadership
Pages 17

On February 1, 1988, Iran celebrated the tenth anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini's return from exile. Ayatollah Khomeini proved his determination to ensure the survival of the Islamic Republic after his demise. Early in 1989, Khomeini appointed President Khamenei as the chairman of the Expediency Council to form a Constitutional Revision Committee and elect its members. After Khomeini, the final authority for the governance of the country would be split between a clerically selected religious Supreme Leader and a popularly elected president. Ayatollah Khomeini's death on June 3, 1989, led to sweeping changes in Iran's political system. Before his death, Khomeini had warned the Iranian leadership to be cautious about the election of the next leader, having in mind that 'the slightest negligence in the election could hurt Islam, the country, and the Islamic Republic'. Ayatollah Khamenei operates in a highly factionalized, autocratic regime with political power that encompasses all branches of government.