The beauty about Iran is that it has never been somebody's bitch since modern-imperialism, at least, not in the classical colonial sense.
Because of this, it has a unique edge to present its own system and paradigm to the world, and push for it instead of becoming secularized, capitalistic, commie etc.
The absence of colonialism in Iran also means Iranians are fairly rational, warmhearted people, who are healthy thinkers, and have decided once and for all that the Islamic Republic is the system to go with, this has evidence in voting behaviour, in the first election of Ahmadinejad, 30 million voted, and in 2009, 40 million voted. This means most of the country has confidence in the electoral process.
Contrary to countries in Europe and America, where most people simply decide not to show up at all to vote and abstain, even with the regime's goons knocking on peoples doors to engage them in the process, without much success, Iran never had to go through that trouble, people vote out of a selfless confidence in the system. That is "Jomhuriye Eslami"
Similarly, the Iranian people voted for their constitution that eventually included Velayat-e Faqih, while Americans have an undemocratic constitution.
Americans do not choose their president directly, they choose an electoral council that votes for the president, since the founding fathers did not find the people informed (they were deemed ignorant) to make such a large decision, in Iran the president is elected directly.
Therefore, reducing Iran's electoral process and its system to a declining, unsuccessful system from the West are opinions of dinosaurs.