Montazeri was an outspoken critic of the Iranian government, chastizing them repeatedly following the disputed June elections and condemning the crackdowns in the wake of the election as the act of a dictatorship. He later called the government a military regime which had lost its way since the 1979 revolution.
Normally the Iranian government would react harshly in the face of such criticism, but Montazeri’s privileged position as the eldest Grand Ayatollah in the nation and initial heir apparent to Supreme Leader Khomeini (before a public falling out) gave him a level of credibility which made him a rallying point for the opposition.
Reports say that top opposition figures Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have both called for a national day of mourning Monday. Whether that mourning turns into another series of violent protests remains to be seen.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Report: North Korea Will Release Three Detained Americans - March 18th, 2018
- White House Assembling a Team for Upcoming North Korea Summit - March 16th, 2018
- US Shifts Toward Harsher Stance on Russia With Sanctions and Condemnation - March 16th, 2018
- Putin Furious After Britain Says He Ordered Attack - March 16th, 2018
- Cluster Bombs Reportedly Dropped on Syria's Eastern Ghouta - March 16th, 2018