The Shia and their leader Khomeini believe that Islam was truly represented in only two eras, the era of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the era of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. We have already alluded to the feigned ignorance of Khomeini with respect to the Rightly Guided Khalifas, since they consider their reigns to have been usurped and illegitimate. It is to no one’s amazement then, that they have, throughout the ages, attacked the institute of the Islamic caliphate and have sought to distort Islamic history through any means necessary.
Khomeini clearly states that they had not achieved the seat of caliphate. He says:
ولم تسنح فرصة لأئمتنا للأخذ بزمام الامور وکانوا بانتظارها حتى آخر لحظة من الحياة، فعلى الفقهاء والعدول أن يتحينوا هم الفرص وينتهزوها من أجل تنظيم وتشكيل حكومة رشيدة
Our Imams did not have the chance to take on positions of leadership. They awaited the opportunity to rule until the last moments of their lives. It is thus the duty of the jurists to seek and seize opportunities in order to restore a legitimate leadership.
This stance of his is further cemented by him vilifying the Khalifas of the Muslims, calling them no less than ignorant leaders. For example, regarding Harun al Rashid he says:
اي ثقافة جازها وكذلك من قبله ومن بعده
Uncultured, just like those before him and those after him.
 Al Hukumah al Islamiyyah, pg. 54.
 Al Hukumah al Islamiyyah, pg. 132.