Power structure of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The supreme leader has absolute power. This is how:
The institutions of power in order of supremacy:
1 - Supreme Leader
2 - Guardian Council
3 - Assembly of Experts
4 - Expediency Council
5 - President
6 - Parliament
1- Supreme Leader
Not elected but appointed by the Council of Experts.
The duties of Supreme Leader according to Article 109 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic as amended on 28 July 1989:
1) Setting out and outlining of all the policies of the Islamic Republic.
2) Overlooking the proper execution of the policies.
3) Ordering Referendum.
4) Head of all armed forces.
5) Deceleration of war, peace and deployment of forces.
6) Appointments, dismissals and acceptance of resignations of:
a) Guardian Council. [He already appoints directly 6 of them and the other six are recommended by the head of the Judiciary - who is appointed by the Supreme leader - to the Parliament who will approve them. However according to this Article he can dismiss any of them and reappoint them. When you read the duties of the Guardian Council, you will discover the absolute power of the Supreme Leader.]
b) the head of the judiciary.
c) the head of the Radio and Television of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
d) The head of the Intelligence.
e) the head of the revolutionary Guards.
f) the heads of the Armed Forces and Police.
7 - Resolutions of any dispute between Judiciary, Parliament and Executive.
8 - Resolutions of any disputes that is not possible in ordinary way via the Expediency Council.
9 - Signing of the President after the election, the presidential candidates must be approved by the Guardian Council according to this constitution and must be approved by the Supreme Leader before the elections in the first round.
10 - Dismissal of the President in the interests of the country after the supreme court's ruling on the breach of his legal duties or the vote of the Parliament in accordance to Article 89 of the Constitution.
11 - Pardoning or reduction of sentences within the Islamic laws and after the recommendations of the head of the judiciary.
The Supreme Leader can transfer some of his duties and authorities to another person.
The Selection and appointment of the entire Expediency Council, under Art 112.
So Far you can see that the Expediency Council and the Guardian Council are all directly and indirectly appointees of the Supreme Leader.
How is the Supreme Leader Appointed? He is appointed by the Council of Experts.
How is the Council of Experts appointed/elected? This council is elected by the people. But the council is vetted by the Guardian Council [appointees of the Supreme Leader]. The regime does not make too much noise about the elections of this Council and keeps it low key.
Now let's look at the rest of the Institutions.
2 - Guardian Council
The 12 members of this Council are not elected by the people but are appointed directly and indirectly by the Supreme Leader.
Duties: the duties of the Guardian Council are not defined in one but many Articles. According to Art 91, to guard against any legislation that are in breach of the Islamic laws and the constitution by the legislative bodies. According to Art 99, to overlook the elections of the President, Parliament and referendums. According to Art 96, the acknowledgment of whether a law passed by the legislative is against the Islamic laws is done by the majority of the Council and whether against the constitution by all of the members of the council. According to Art 97, to expedite parliamentary dispute over any proposals they can participate and listen. But if in emergencies they can express their opinions. According to Art 99, the Guardian Council overlooks the elections of the Council of Experts, Presidet, Parliamnet and Referendum.
The overlooking duties of the Guardian Council includes the vetting of the candidates.
As you can see three of the most powerful institutions of the Islamic Republic of Iran are appointed by the Supreme Leader.
There is no need to continue with the rest of the institutions as they are all vetted and selected for elections by THE GUARDIAN COUNCIL and put in for elections by the people. The people only vote for a president that is loyal to the Supreme Leader as vetted by the Guardian Council. The people can only vote for a selected number of candidates for the Parliament that are selected and vetted by the Guardian Council. The people can only vote for a seleceted and hand picked number of candidates for the Council of Experts who are vetted by the Guardian Council.