Iran's top dissident cleric Montazeri dies
Sunday 20 December 2009
Iran's senior dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, has died, official media reported on today. He was 87.
Montazeri, who branded Iran's disputed election in June fraudulent, was an architect of the 1979 Islamic revolution who fell out with the present clerical leadership and spent five years under house arrest until 2002.
He had been named to succeed late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as Iran's supreme leader, but quarrelled with him in 1989 over the mass execution of prisoners. Instead, the current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, succeeded Khomeini after he died later the same year.
"Hossein Ali Montazeri passed away in his home last night," the official IRNA news agency said in a report that did not mention his title.
He lived in the holy Shi'ite Muslim city of Qom, south of Tehran, and was one of the Islamic Republic's most senior clerics.
In August, he described the clerical establishment as a "dictatorship", saying the authorities' handling of street unrest following the June presidential poll "could lead to the fall of the regime".
Montazeri was among the government's harshest critics in a clerical establishment whose splits have gaped during turmoil triggered by the disputed election six months ago.
The pro-reform opposition says the poll was rigged to secure hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election.
The authorities have denied the charge and portrayed the huge opposition protests that erupted after the election as a foreign-backed bid to undermine the clerical leadership.
The semi-official Fars News Agency said another senior pro-reform cleric, Grand Ayatollah Yusof Saanei, visited Montazeri's home on Sunday to express his condolences.
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
London property boom built on dirty money
Becky Watts: Stepbrother and his girlfriend named locally as two arrested on suspicion of murder
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...
£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Administrator is requ...