Iran's Ayatollah Montazeri dead

Iran's Ayatollah Montazeri dead

A file photo of Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri.

The ayatollah had been banished from politics since the late revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, dismissed him as his designated heir in March 1989 for criticising the Islamic system.

Montazeri accused Ahmadinejad’s government of dictatorship after his disputed re-election in June.

In 2001, the ayatollah suffered a severe heart attack just after he was released from a five-year period of house arrest and was hospitalised for a long time.

Despite political isolation and house arrest for more than 10 years, Montazeri remained a respected religious figure and one of Iran’s most acknowledged marjae taqlids, to whom Muslims refer for religious guidance.

While reformist circles supported Montazeri, the hardliners branded him as secular and condemned his critical approach toward Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who succeeded Ayatollah Khomeini as the country’s supreme leader in June 1989.
Montazeri criticised the Iranian election system several times and said under these conditions and without genuine and fair competition, elected officials could not respond to the people’s needs.

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