Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's concept of velayat-e faqih never had wide and deep theological support, but during the past 30 years, it has won acceptance, even if only passive, as a cornerstone of Iran's political landscape. During the past month, however, that implicit authority has been weakened beyond repair. How many people, and I'm speaking specifically of Iranians, knew previously that the Assembly of Experts didn't just elect the Supreme Leader, but also had the power to supervise and if necessary remove him? How many people, both within the government and outside it, have become his enemies now that he has openly become theirs?
The authority of his office weakened, Khamene'i now relies almost entirely on open displays of physical power, a development which grows out of the increasing Ahmadinejad-era militarization of Iranian politics that may have played a role in last month's electoral coup to begin with.
There's much more at the link -- click it already!