For some years, Khomeini opted for the second of these three, believing Islam should encompass all aspects of life, especially the state, and disapproving of Iran's weak Qajar dynasty, the western concepts and language borrowed in the 1906 constitution, and especially the authoritarian secularism and modernization of the Pahlavi Shahs.
In particular reformists such as Muhammad Khatami in search of more democracy and less theocracy.
As to how jurists should influence governance, Ayatollah Khomeini's leadership changed direction over time as his views on governance evolved.
He charged that colonial conspiracies kept the country poor and backward, exploited its resources, inflamed class antagonism, divided the clergy and alienated them from the masses, caused mischief among the tribes, infiltrated the universities, cultivated consumer instincts, and encouraged moral corruption, especially gambling, prostitution, drug addiction, and alcohol consumption.
"those with view different from one's own were members of this or that foreign conspiracy.
Khomeini declared Islamic jurists the true holders of not only religious authority but political authority, who must be obeyed as "an expression of obedience to God", Since his death, politics in the Islamic Republic of Iran have been "largely defined by attempts to claim Khomeini's legacy", according to at least one scholar, and "staying faithful to his ideology has been the litmus test for all political activity" there.
According to Vali Nasr, outside of Iran, Khomeini's influence has been felt among the large Shia populations of Iraq and Lebanon.
(see below) At least one scholar has argued that Khomeini's "decrees, sermons, interviews, and political pronouncements" have outlasted his theological works because it is the former and not the latter that the Islamic Republic of Iran "constantly reprints." Without the decrees, sermons, interviews, and political pronouncements "there would have been no Khomeinism [ideology].
Without Khomeinism there would have been no revolution.
He argued that the colonial powers had for years sent Orientalists into the East to misinterpret Islam and the Koran and that the colonial powers had conspired to undermine Islam both with religious quietism and with secular ideologies, especially socialism, liberalism, monarchism, and nationalism.
He claimed that Britain had instigated the 1905 Constitutional Revolution to subvert Islam: "The Iranians who drafted the constitutional laws were receiving instructions directly from their British masters.`" Khomeini also held the West responsible for a host of contemporary problems.
In the non-Muslim world, Khomeini had a great impact on the West and even Western popular culture where it is said he became "the virtual face of Islam" who "inculcated fear and distrust towards Islam." Ayatollah Khomeini was a senior Islamic jurist cleric of Shia (Twelvers) Islam.