Referring to Ayatollah Khomeini as the Imam Khomeini was a controversial issue. In Shiite theology, the Imams are the 12 descendants of the prophet, who are sinless and immaculate saints and so to have a 13th Imam was very much a touch and go issue bordering on heresy.
Especially since Khomeini only became an Ayatollah, when it was thought that after his arrest, in 1963, he faced execution and in order to save him from execution, Ayatollah Shariatmadari, a moderate and pacifist Grand Ayatoolah, promoted him to the rank of Grand Ayatollah to save Khomeini from execution.
Khomeini as ungrateful as ever, did not reward Ayatollah Shariatmadari after the 1979 revolution, for having saved him from execution, but instead Ayatollah Shariatmadari's family were arrested and tortured. Shariatmadari himself was arrested, former Minister of Intelligence, Reyshahri, even mentions in his memoirs that he personally took part in beating up the elderly moderate Grand Ayatollah Shariatmadari who did not see eye to eye with Khomeni's rule of jurisprudence. Thus Ayatollah Shariatmadari who had promoted Khomeini to Grand Ayatollah overnight to save him from execution, was forced to appear on Iranian state TV and beg Khomeini for forgiveness.
I am not sure who elevated Khomeini to the rank of Imam, it may have even been the MKO, as I remember their newspaper always used to write Imam Khomeini in bold letters when they were trying unsuccessfully to endear themselves to Khomeini.
After Khamenei succeeded Khomeini as the new Supreme Leader, some sycophants also attempted to refer to Khamenei as the Imam, but to have a 14th Imam was just too much and never became acceptable in Iran.
, RESPECT's publication however, has no qualms in publishing an article that praises Iran's Supreme Leader obsessively and refers to him as an Imam. The article is written by Seyyed Mohamamd Marandi, a rich kid whose father is non other than Khamenei's personal physician. Mohammad Marandi, himself was born and educated in Richmond, Virginia in the good old US of A.
Socialist Unity is thus praising an absolute dictator who is responsible for the murder, torture and imprisonment of Iran's trade unionists, students, intellectuals, writers, journalists, workers, teachers, human rights lawyers, minorities and.....
I piss on this 'Unity' and on these 'Socialists'.