Monday, December 21, 2009

Freedom for Iran: Montazeri passes

The demise by natural causes of Grand Ayatollah Hoseyn Ali Montazeri, who was an inspiration to the Green Movement opposition in Iran, has become a new rallying point for the masses. Tens of thousands marched in Qom, and thousands more did so in the theologian's home town of Najafabad.
The government knows the funeral is one demonstration it cannot forbid, says the BBC's Tehran correspondent Jon Leyne, although it fears it could spark another round of protests.
The AP has more information:
Many people during Monday's funeral made references to the Green Movement of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who joined the procession in Qom, witnesses said. Opposition leaders had called for people to turn out for a day of mourning, and Mousavi described Montazeri's death as a "great loss."
Montazeri, it should be remembered, was one of the original leaders of the theological movement in parallel with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's revolutionary movement. But the famous falling out between Montazeri and Khomeini in 1989 and Montazeri's open contempt for the rise of (current) Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei 1997 made Montazeri a voice of reason in the face of dictatorship and a valued patron of the Opposition.

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