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And without the Islamic Revolution, Khomeini would have been no more than a footnote to Iranian history." Khomeini once protested the shah's enfranchisement of women, and then encouraged women to participate in his revolution and vote for his government when he needed their numbers.

He once promised that clerics would hold only temporary positions in government and then allowed them to hold the most senior positions.

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.

Like them Khomeini led a "movement of the propertied middle class" that mobilized "the lower classes, especially the urban poor" in a "radical but pragmatic" protest movement "against the established order." It attacked "the upper class and foreign powers," but not property rights, preaching "a return to `native roots` and eradication of `cosmopolitan ideas.` Like those movements it celebrated the oppressed poor which it designated with a label (mostazafin by Khomeini, descamisados (coatless ones) by Peron, trabalhadores by Vargas), while actual power flowed from its leader who was "elevated ...

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One does not compromise and negotiate with spies and traitors; one locks them up or else shoots them. The result was detrimental for the development of political pluralism in Iran. Differences of opinion within organizations could not be accommodated; it was all too easy for leaders to expel dissidents as `foreign agents.` Abrahamian believes that what he calls this "paranoid style" paved the way for the mass executions of 1981-82, where "never before in Iran had firing squads executed so many in so short a time over so flimsy an accusation." One scholar argues that Khomeini, "his ideas, and his movement" (an ideology he dubs "Khomeinism") bears a striking resemblance to populist movements in other countries, particularly those of South America such as Juan Perón and Getúlio Vargas.

He pledged to continue the war against Iraq until its defeat and then abruptly made peace.

He once said that the fact that "I have said something does not mean that I should be bound by my word." Indeed, it is that suppleness, that ability to improvise that has outlived Khomeini and that continues to pervade the Islamic Republic, keeping it going.

Khomeinism is the founding ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Impact of the religious and political ideas of that leader of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini include replacing Iran's millennia-old monarchy with theocracy.