The Grand Ayatollah Ḥosein ‛Alī Montaẓerī’s death in December 2009 led to the biggest protests against the Islamic Republic of Iran’s regime since those following the June 2009 elections, which also had sparked off massive uprisings. Much lamented, Montaẓerī (1922–2009) once was designated as successor by Khomeini himself, but fell from grace subsequently. This essay aims to discuss the part he played in Iran’s history of the last 25 years. In addition, this essay focuses on his alternative reading of velāyat-e faqīh. It will be discussed whether Montaẓerī’s autonomous interpretation is new to his thought, and whether it has always (or at least for a long time) been independent of today’s official understanding of velāyat-e faqīh. The implications of Montaẓerī’s reading are also discussed, as well as the question whether Montaẓerī succeeded in uniting velāyat-e faqīh with the principle of sovereignty of the people in a comprehensible way.