This week, exiled Iranian intellectual and cleric Hojjatoleslam Mohsen Kadivar, one of the most outspoken opponents of the concept of “rule of the religious jurisprudent”, has published on his official website (www.kadivar.com, July 17) an open letter to the chairman of the Assembly of Experts, Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, demanding that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei be removed from power. In the long-worded letter, Kadivar accused Khamenei of despotism, injustice, and violations of law. According to Kadivar, over his two decades as Supreme Leader, Khamenei has repeatedly violated the Iranian constitution, causing severe damage to the Islamic republic and weakening Islam. He called upon Rafsanjani to exercise the authority of the Assembly of Experts and impeach Khamenei.
In addition to Kadivar, Issa Saharkhiz, a human rights activist and reformist journalist held under arrest this past year, also issued a call to remove Khamenei from power and bring him to trial. During his currently ongoing trial, Saharkhiz accused the Supreme Leader of violating clauses in the constitution and the principles of justice, and illegally interfering with the elections. He further claimed that he intended to file lawsuits against Khamenei for his silence over the torture of political prisoners in Iran (Jaras, July 18).