I think an interesting parallel exists between the 1979 Revolution and the current situation in Iran.
In 1979, there existed a great distance between the Shah and the Iranian people. By distance, I mean, generally speaking, he was not in touch with the needs of his people. To name just a few, he did not address the needs of the merchants, of the new working class in cities, of the religious parties. (I will elaborate on this more later, I am in a bit of a hurry right now.)
Similarly, today, a great distance exists between Khamenei and the Iranian people, especially those out in the streets. Sure, a bunch of old conservative clerics support him, but they do not represent the people of Iran of today. The represent only a small segment of society. It was so interesting watching a video of Ahmadinejad supporters and the crowd at a Khamenei speech...all religious old Iranian men. (Ok they were a few chicks at Ahmadinejad's rallies.) but little diversity. It kind of reminded me of watching the Republican Party convention last summer.
The Iran of today is diverse, the majority of students are women, just like the majority of protesters are reportedly women; they are currently equal to men in practice but not by law. This is what Iranians are on the streets - their rights - right to have a vote, for women's rights.
(For example, here is the story and words on the revolution of one woman who has a law degree but can't practice.)