Crowds walk the streets of Tehran once again, this time chanting in support of an Iranian top cleric who died only a day ago.
Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri was once heir to the Ayatollah Khomeini himself, but later disqualified by the founder of the Islamic Republic due to his objections to the massacres of 1988 in which over 30,000 political prisoners –mostly members and supporters of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization of Iran (PMOI) –were executed in a very short period of time. The PMOI later turned into the main opposition movement to the theocratic regime of Khamanie calling for an end to his dictatorship.
The chanting crowd walking the streets, congratulated the top cleric on his lastly found freedom in death; referring to the fact that the grand ayatollah had been mostly under house arrest since his disqualification and spent his time teaching Islamic theology.
But since the uprising of the Iranian public started earlier this year, the ayatollah stepped in to the public scene once again, condemning tortures and executions taking place at the hands of the ruling mullahs saying their actions has nothing to do with Islamic teachings.
On July 10, 2009, in the midst of the uprisings in Iran, he issued an official Fetwa (religious order), disqualifying Khamanie as a religious leader and the ruler of the Islamic Republic due to lack of justice in his regime and absence of any popular support for it.
Montazeri had repeatedly emphasized in his public speeches that Khamanie does not have the qualifications to be a religious leader as he claims.
Following Montazeri’s death, mourners took to the streets of his hometown, Najaf-Abad, prompting the mullahs’ regime to heighten security measures fearing new wave of demonstrations.
Mourners in response clashed with the security forces in Najaf-Abad in Azadegan Square and Montazeri Street.
In Tehran, Sharif Institute of Technology students staged a demonstration after receiving the news of Grand Ayatollah’s death, once again condemning Khamanei for his actions.
Other demonstrations by thousands of mourners have been reported in Tehran, Quom, and Najaf-Abad.