An interesting read.
A theocratic regime has made Shiites less observant: Few attend the ever-shrinking supply of functioning mosques. The numbers here are striking: Mr. Parsa relates that “a Revolutionary Guard commander, Zia Eddin Hozni, recently announced that about 3,000 of the country’s 57,000 Shiite mosques, or only 5 percent, were fully operational during the year.” As of 2012, nearly half of them “lacked clerics and prayer leaders.” In a clerical state, fewer and fewer young men want to become clerics, Mr. Parsa’s statistics show. Young women from traditional families are declining to take mullahs as mates. (Even at the end of the Soviet Union, the communist elite never lost their cachet as marriage partners.) Clerics trying to tell citizens to behave properly have been beaten severely. Their desire to serve in parliament has waned, as has the people’s willingness to elect them. In 1980, 60.7% of the deputies in the Majles—the Iranian parliament that rubber-stamps the theocracy—were clerics. After the 2016 elections, their number had declined to 5.5%.