For what reason Imam Khomeini expressed his opposition to the nomination of religious personalities—like Ayatollah Beheshti, Ayatollah Rafsanjani and Ayatollah Khamenei—for the first presidential elections after the Islamic revolution?

The cause of such opposition is, of course, apparent for those who are familiar with Imam’s political doctrine.

In the first presidential elections after the victory of Islamic revolution under the wise recommendation of Imam famous personalities as you mentioned above did not nominate themselves for such critical position as a president. The majority of members in the Council of Revolution, Imam had also advised, must be non-cleric so that before the formation of the council he writes to Hussein Nouri Hamedani in Azar 1357 to collect the names of qualified candidates.

In that letter Imam had explained the candidates in addition to having a good reputation and ability to lead a government department must not be former members of the corrupted regime of Pahlavi, members of clerical society, owners of wealth or very rich people and those who have got perverted inclinations. (Sahifeh-ye Imam, vol. 5, p. 151)

The great founder of Islamic republic repeatedly put emphasis on the significance of unity between clergymen and intellectuals so that in Aban 1356 after appreciating condolences expressed for the martyrdom of his elder son Sayyid Mostafa, he criticizes both intellectuals and clerics who try to undermine the role of each other in the newly established system and calls for unity and collaboration between the two:

To return to my grievance against the honorable gentlemen of the clergy, I ask them not to divorce these other fronts from themselves, but instead to bring all the different fronts together. Moreover, those in the clergy must value this group of people who are striving in the path of Islam and who are writing material to this end. They (the clergy) must make use of these people.  My good men of the clergy, extend the right hand of fellowship. Do not talk of a deprave, libertine university and…do not continually divorce other fronts from yourselves. And the same goes for the members of other fronts; they too must not divorce the clergy from themselves by saying, for example, that they are reactionaries and old-fashioned. In what way can the akhund be said to be reactionary? How can the akhund be said to be reactionary when he stands as a forerunner of progress? (Sahifeh-ye Imam, vol. 3, p. 257)

According to Imam’s social standpoints the occupations which require high level of experience and specialty should not be performed by clergymen in general. Such an approach can be inferred out of the following reasons:

-          Universities can provide necessary human resources for the occupations which require high level of proficiency while seminaries play an active role in education and spiritual self-training; exceptions however are excluded.

-          Separation of powers modeled with executive, legislative and judicial systems is reasonable according to the Imam. The seminary experts who are engaged with legislative and judicial affairs on this model should not be part of the executive body which enjoys a scientific approach in essence. We should note that, an expert in the judicial system is not necessarily a member of clerical society, but clerics are given priority; judicial experts basically must have enough knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence for their judgments. In the legislative body of the system both seminary and other experts are at work to make best decisions on behalf of the nation.

-          There must be enough supervision and monitoring on the executive body for a better functionality 

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