The Wilayat al-Faqih claims worldly, political and social authority over all Shia. As scholar Hassan Mneimneh recently put it in an article on the Arab reception of the concept: “Wilayat al-Faqih entails the recognition of the absolute worldly authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Supreme Leader (Rahbar), in whom the ultimate executive, legislative, and judiciary powers [are] supposed to reside.”And:
Hezbollah’s own experience lends support to Mneimneh’s remarks. Not only did Hezbollah seek Khamenei’s permission to enter parliamentary politics in 1992, but the party’s deputy secretary general, Naim Qassem, has written in his book on Hezbollah that “the wali al-faqih alone possesses the authority to decide war and peace.”
Yahya Rahim Safavi, former commander of the Revolutionary Guards and military adviser to Iran’s Supreme Guide, Ali Khamenei, declared that in case of an Israeli attack on Iran, the Iranian retaliation will come from Lebanon, “because all the Zionist cities are within the range of our ally Hezbollah's Katyushas.”And in a Q&A with Hezbollah's former secretary general, Sheikh Sobhi Tufayli:
Analysts have repeatedly raised the possibility of an armed conflict with Israel if the Assad regime were to fall. Do you believe Hezbollah would be willing to wage another war with Israel?Again, it is disappointing to see terror leaders and would-be genocidal murderers who are so willing to lie. What ever happened to morality?
Tufayli: This decision is neither in the hands of Hezbollah nor the Lebanese people. Iran will play the Lebanese card according to its own interests. War is a possible option; however, I do not foresee a conflict in southern Lebanon for now.
Do you believe Iran’s political goals in Lebanon have changed over the past decade? Has Iran abandoned its Wilayat al-Faqih [Guardianship of the Jurist] project?
Tufayli: No country in the world will ever forgo its strategic interests. Iran will not abandon its dream of creating a Wilayat al-Faqih in Lebanon.