Iran: Ayatollah Montazeri Clashes With Ayatollah Khamenei

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This is a very significant turn of events considering that Grand Ayatollah Montazeri (see photo) is not just any Ayatollah. He was once considered as a likely successor of late Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, to become Iran’s Supreme Leader.

On Wednesday, he said that the ruling system under Ayatollah Khamenei has misused Islam, and that the crackdown against the reformist supporters was despotic in nature. Montazeri posted the following statement on his website:

The biggest oppression is the despotic treatment of the people in the name of Islam. I hope the responsible authorities give up the deviant path they are pursuing and restore the trampled rights of the people. I hope authorities have the courage to announce that this ruling system is neither a Republic nor Islamic, and that nobody has the right to suppress opinion or criticism.”

Meanwhile, in a strange shift which could be either a sign of compromise or an attempt to save his own future as Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei backtracked on previous allegations made by the hardliners. He stated that he did not believe the opposition leaders were backed by foreign states.

Iran’s state controlled TV station quoted Khamenei as saying: “I do not accuse the leaders of recent events as being the agents of foreigners, including America & Britain, because it has not been proven to me.” Khamenei then added, in obvious contradiction with the first part of his statement:”But there is no doubt that this movement, whether its leaders knew it or not, was planned in advance.”

From mid-June to now, the battle for the control of Iran has moved from violent clashes in the streets to a battle between top clerics. Ahmadinejad is not much more than a pawn in the fights between the Ayatollahs, and Khamenei may have to sacrifice him, down the line, to save his own status as Iran’s Supreme Leader.

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4 Responses to Iran: Ayatollah Montazeri Clashes With Ayatollah Khamenei

  1. Andrew T. August 27, 2009 at 10:03 am

    This is significant news! Where is the rest of the media? Oh, wait…I know…They’re at Neverland.

    • Gilbert Mercier
      Gilbert Mercier August 27, 2009 at 12:18 pm

      The MSM can barely cover 2 or 3 stories at any given time….yet they do have a big staff. Go figure, Andrew…..

  2. Jared Israel August 30, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    You write, <> Not true. He made the carefully worded statement that he did not say they acted in awareness that foreign states had planned the democratic protests because this had not been proven to him. Thus he implied the threat that if Mousavi et al did not restrain popular fury and mold themselves as a *loyal* opposition, he could make this discovery (that they had known the protests were planned from the outside) and they would end up suffering the fate of some of their subordinates, now on ‘trial'(so-called.)
    — Jared Israel, http://emperors-clothes.com

  3. Jared Israel August 30, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Oops, the quote I was referring to did did not come out because of the quotation marks I used.

    Here is your statement that I am saying misinterprets what Khamenei said: “He stated that he did not believe the opposition leaders were backed by foreign states.” As I wrote, he did not say anything about ‘backing’; he said he had not been shown convincing proof that reform leaders KNEW they were serving foreign interests, but that foreign interests had indeed planned the uprising.
    Jared Israel, http://emperors-clothes.com

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