Funeral of Iranian cleric Montazeri turns into political protest
Guardian UK / Robert Tait
21-Dec-2009 (one comment)

Hundreds of thousands of opposition protesters openly challenged the authority of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, today by mourning the death of a dissident cleric who had questioned Khamenei's fitness to rule.

The mass turnout in Qom for the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, who died on Sunday, aged 87, came just a day after Khamenei had dismissed him as a figure who had failed "a big test" and ordered a security clampdown to deter mourners from paying their respects.

Instead, the event turned into the opposition Green Movement's biggest show of strength in months. The sheer numbers – including many wearing the opposition's signature colour of green – seemed to confirm the Islamic regime's fears that Montazeri's death could provide a fresh spark for the simmering discontent over President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hotly disputed re-election last June.<... >>>

recommended by Monda



Most enormous than Shah's departure!

by Monda on

Hossein Bastani, an Iranian political analyst, said the protests had moved beyond anger over the election and were now aimed directly at Khamenei. "Khamenei's comments about Montazeri met with a very negative reflection in Iranian opposition websites and media," he said. "Today we had a very great demonstration in Qom, a small provincial city and the ideological centre of the Islamic regime," he added

"I don't think there were demonstrations there of that size even during the revolution. The slogans people were chanting were indirectly against the Islamic regime and similar to what was chanted before the revolution against the Shah."