Posted by: Lister | June 17, 2009

Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri

Montazeri‘s political career goes back to before the revolution. He was once touted as Khomeini’s successor, but fell out in 1989.

He’s spoken out against what he regards as a fraudulent election:

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri said “no sound mind” would accept the results.

“A government that is based on intervening in (people’s) vote has no political or religious legitimacy,” said Montazeri, who had once been set to succeed Khomeini as supreme leader until he was ousted because of criticisms of the revolution.

The wiki article says that he started out very much in favour of theocracy — so only religiously qualified people can be candidates for office. And, from the BBC profile:

In written answers to journalists’ questions ahead of the February 2000 elections, the cleric came out strongly against clerical interference in government – the key issue in the struggle between the reformers and conservatives in Iran.

He upheld the principle of clerical supervision to ensure that legislation and government policy remain in line with Islamic principles.

He fell out with the leadership over things like post-war executions. From wiki:

The denial of people’s rights, injustice and disregard for the revolution’s true values have delivered the most severe blows against the revolution. Before any reconstruction [takes place], there must first be a political and ideological reconstruction . . . This is something that the people expect of a leader.



  1. Some more quotes from Monazeri, warning the Iranian government that their actions could lead to their downfall.

    Via AFP:

    “I hope the authorities wake up before it is too late and do not hurt the reputation of the Islamic republic further … and cause their own fall and that of the system,”

    […] “They should at least have the courage to declare that this government is neither a republic nor Islamic with nobody allowed to protest, comment or criticise,”

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