The IranianUnique Travel


email us

US Transcom
US Transcom

Shahin & Sepehr

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

    News & views

Montazeri supporters arrested

TEHRAN, Jan 19 (AFP) - Several supporters of dissident Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the disgraced former hier to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei, have been arrested in the central city of Esfahan, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

"Several people were arrested after shouting slogans in favor of Ayatollah Montazeri," said the radical newspaper Salam.

It said the arrests took place on Monday after prayers for Eid al-Fitr marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

The paper said some 70,000 worshippers had attended the prayer service in Esfahan on Monday addressed by Ayatollah Jalaleddin Taheri, a senior cleric considered a supporter of Montazeri and reformist President Mohammad Khatami.

On Friday, a group of Islamic fundamentalist critics of Taheri disrupted weekly prayers in Esfahan, heckling and throwing objects at the prayer leader and provincial governor Jaafar Musavi, another Khatami ally.

The incident angered Khatami's supporters and Iran's interior ministry has launched an investigation.

Iran's spiritual guide Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday denounced the attack. "Friday prayers are not the place to settle differences," he said.

While denouncing the attack, Khamenei also impliticly criticized Taheri saying "clerics should not raise subjects likely to cause division during their Friday sermons."

A pro-Khatami government newspaper, Sobh-e-Emrooz (This Morning), reported Sunday that several Khatami suppporters had been arrested in Esfahan, including a former top military commander during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.

Taheri's weekly prayer sermons in Esfahan are often marked by tension and scuffles between moderates and fundamentalists.

Taheri has linked Islamic extremists to a recent spate of murders of dissidents and intellectuals, in which the country's intelligence service has been implicated.

The murders have caused uproar in Iran and a bitter war of words between Khatami's backers and his hardline opponents.

Montazeri was the designated succesor to Iran's late leader Ayatollah Khomenei before falling from grace in 1989 and being replaced by the current spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.


Copyright © 1997 Abadan Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved. May not be duplicated or distributed in any form