In Iran after the 1979 revolution, Shias created the ideal but mythical office of Imam in the person of Ruhoallah Khomeini . The status of the Imam was evolved into the doctrines of intercession and infallibility, i.e., of the faqih/mutjahid .But the Iranians have since found that a system based on the concepts of 7th century AD is inadequate to confront and solve the problems of 21st century. Thus there is a struggle to loosen the total clerical control over almost all aspects of life .Like the first Imam Ali, Iran is ruled by the supreme religious leader, Ali Khomeini, who incidentally is Azeri Turk .The cement keeping Iran united now is its common nationalistic and patriotic heritage and Islam.
The Arabs from the sands of arid Arabia who conquered the territories of the Byzantine and Persian empires who had exhausted themselves fighting each other over many centuries collapsed easily .( MAD balance between USSR and US led West led to the collapse of USSR and its allies and now over stretch of NATO is leading to US decline and fall ) Caliphs lost out on power by 10th century to the Turkish slaves from central Asia who formed the core of their fighting forces .The Turks raised the minor title of Sultan to a high rank who literally became a protector of the Caliph , left with only spiritual powers. Even that role was seized by the Ottoman Sultans ruling from Istanbul in early 16 century.
Ambassador Gejandra Singh