Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ayatollah Montazeri Died Last NIght

A Man of Good Reputation Never Dies - Iranian poet Sa'di.

As a successor to Ayatollah Khomeini to be the next Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Montazeri gave up all his privileges when he protested against the massacre of Iranian political prisoners in 1988 and asked for a review of the revolution's failures. Perhaps the most memorable quote remembered by Ayatallah Montazeri, who himself was one of the founders of the Islamic Republic,  will be 'The Islamic Republic is neither a Republic nor Islamic'


Winston said...

I like that quote

Nader said...

The SWP never condemned the massacre of Iranian political prisoners and all those Iranian Socialists but Ayatollah Montazeri did. This Grand Ayatollah had more courage in his finger nails than the entire members of the Socialist Party rich kids.

Hilda, said...

May he rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

Very Sad. RIP

Sohrab said...

It takes a lot to renounce total power in the name of truth and justice.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy!

Can there be any more proof of Divine Justice than this?

I am handing out sweets to my friends on this great and glorious day of the passing away of a monafegh

Rostam Farrokhzad said...

good riddence. one of the criminals is dead. these "liberal" facists are as responsible as the facist terror leaders of teh Islamic Republic for the disaster that befell Iran.

How many stonings did he protest. how many executions from cranes did he attend to end.

Montazeri may have realised early that he was involved in a crinimal enterprise but it took him 10 years to break with Khomeini and in those 10 years he was party to every criminal activity of this facist dictatorship - as much as moussavi and karroubi are.

good riddence.

Anonymous said...

روز جزاست امروز
Mon Dec 21, 2009 02:17 AM PST


Helicopters in the air controlling Tehran-Ghom highway. Sec forces setting up checkpoints

Anonymous said...

As with a number of well-known Middle Eastern leaders, including the late and largely unlamented Saddam Hussein, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad continues to put what purports to be national pride before common sense or a rational approach to international relations.

The Iranian government, its military and intelligence services go out of their way to needle the West in a manner that suggests that they still harbor the illusion of surviving such a military confrontation.

Iran incapable of defending its strategic targets
The truth is that Iran is quite incapable of defending its air space and strategic targets against a determined Israeli attack, let alone one that involved US air assets.

Iran's air force and air defense forces are a generation or more behind its potential foes. According to the US Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington in May 2009, "Without Russian air defense systems, Iran is a sitting duck."

CSIS said, "Iran's current air defense umbrella is antiquated and could not stop an Israeli or US strike. Iran's air defense network could be easily penetrated by the air forces of Israel and the United States."

Anonymous said...

I’m terrified for the Iranian people, because I read in the paper that Khamenei intends to stamp out all protest for the holy month of Muhhram with all the means at his disposal.

Apparently, there is this group called Seyed-ol-Shohada Corps (strategically perched on the northern gateway of Tehran) to move swiftly into the metropolis and occupy all important institutions and buildings, and cut off the Iranian capital from the outside world, all within hours in case of massive uprising. The will bathe in the blood of innocent people if they have to save their neck.

Scroll down to find the comment:

Neda Mehregan said...

There are going to be countless days of unrest ahead as hundreds of thousands of people demonstrate against the government. The Islamic Republic's policy of waging war against the people can not and will not succeed.
It is only a matter of time before these evil rulers sink in their own cesspit.

Aryamehr said...

Good riddance. Did he write the religious "fatwa" condoning raping virgin female prisoners before execution!?

Winston said...


He was a typical clergy but let's not kid ourselves. A large number of Iranians are, unfortunately, still religious and people like Montazeri and Sane'i can be agents of change and leadership for those religious sheep hordes. Dreaming about having secularists running the show is wrong and useless. Let all elements play their roles and let all people be heard in this process.

Azarmehr said...

Did he issue such fatwa? where? show us if you have the evidence.

Azarmehr said...

"Rostam" wont even come to a demonstration in London because he gets so scared, he just has a lot of cyber bravado

Arash said...

I'm sorry, but I find myself agreeing with Aryamehr and Rostam on this particular issue, and yes Potkin, I've been to tonnes of protests :P

But at the end of the day, I can't feel much remorse for someone who for a decade was involved in the worst crimes of this regime. Like I said in my own blog, the fact that in later years he felt *some* remorse doesn't make him a saint, it's just a case of atonement. The fact that he objects to Ahmadinejad doesn't make him a hero, it just makes him like any other normal human being.


reza said...

Alot of misinformation here, unfortunately.

He wrote to Khomeini regarding the political prisoner situation:

"At least order to spare women who have children and finally, the execution of several thousand prisoners in a few days will not have positive repercussions and will not be mistake-free. . . . A large number of prisoners have been killed under torture by their interrogators. . . . In some prisons of the Islamic Republic young girds are being raped by force. . . . As a result of unruly torture, many prisoners have become deaf or paralyzed or afflicted with chronic diseases."

This is quite incredible for a mullah to write during that time. Montazeri also condemned the fatwa against Rushdie and criticized Khomeini. What else could someone in that position have done? People make mistakes. Iranians have been making mistakes for decades now. Some of them are too prideful to even admit those mistakes.

Montazeri admitted to his error and condemned the aftermath of the revolution within the limits of his power. It takes alot to sacrifice a life of guaranteed political immunity and privilege (i.e. supreme leader) in return for a life of solitary confinement, harassment, and demonization from a government that would have been in your control if you just kept your mouth shut. He did all of this just for the sake of defending the truth. We know alot of mollahs who are still complicit members of this fascist regime all because they don't want to pay the same price Montazeri did. The fact that Montazeri did this, to me, is an even greater gesture of piety and righteousness than if he had never even joined the revolution to begin with. Self-humility is a sign of noble character. Montazeri gained absolutely nothing from his protest against Khomeini and the whole regime, and for this reason his contributions to fighting injustice should be noted.

Anonymous said...

Lol @ reza(?)

I wish your type were just as understanding towards the shah mistakes for instance at the time like you are towards a retarded montazeri.

Ya know, in another few years ppl like ya gonna say again we made mistakes, it was stolen from us, we protested, we weren’t sure, but we wanted the best for freedom.
Problem is that ppl like you keep getting ppl into shit decade after decade, apologize for mistakes, expect others to forgive and then go and repeat same mistakes. When will ppl like ya stop making mistakes ???

How can a grand ayatollah who was privy to all Khomeini history, track record, mischiefs not know Khomeini was an asshole megalomaniac, wanting to ruin a country but then go ahead and support him and then wait 10 years to find the nerve and conscience to oppose him? Montazeri at the end only tried to clear his own guilty conscience. That’s all.

Misinformation is yours and your righteousness. dow ta salavat beferest baraye montazeri , goore khodesh pedaresh o jad o abadesh

Aryamehr said...


I read that Mollah Montazari had issued a fatwa allowing virgin girls to be raped before execution on message board (Iran Sport Press - Poltical Forum) - that site is frequented/run by a majority of so-called reformists (i.e. those that support Islamic Republic criminals a la Mollah Khatami, Pasdar Ghalibaf, Mousavi etc...)...

I was wondering if anyone on here could confirm it? ...

reza said...


1). I never said I was understanding toward Montazeri's mistakes...period. I said the guy did make mistakes and acknowledged them toward the height of his power (the most inconvenient moment, for someone of Montazeri's status, to start making noise). For this reason, I say, he passed the test of piety and sincerity. Now, if he had made this move AFTER he lost power then I would suspect that he would making a conveniently self-interested move.

But thats the whole point. The very timing of his action goes against everything in the Machiavellian handbook of achieving power and greed. Every move he took went adversely against everything you're supposed to do in times of power-struggle.

If the Shah had followed such a scheme in much the same way and in that sequence of time with respect to his ascent to power, then my perception of him would be different. So don't make askew comparisons here.

2). Please worry about yourself and not me. I have not said anything with regards to the future. I do not say things blindly and with that much certainty, unless I have unambiguous evidence to back my claims. As I said, Montazeri's test which pressed his conscience against his self-interests at the time sufficiently demonstrated that the man was sincere and willing to give up a life of royalty and power in return for a life of social and political exclusion. The cost clearly outweighted the benefit of such a move.

I cannot see a more lucid proof for what I am asserting here.

2). I'll tell you how Montazeri was ignorant of Khomeini's plan: the same reason millions of Iranians were! Montazeri, like the moderate Iranians who were defrauded by Khomeini's false promises, thought the pre-1979 'mollahs won't get involved' slogan would be followed through. However, after the revolution Khomeini's true agenda took full resolve.

As far as I know (which I don't admit is omniscient), Montazeri's idea of an 'Islamic state' was more akin (not identical though) to that of Christian countries today: one in which the church (or mosque in this case) has a more symbolic role in the country, rather than a mechanistic one.

I do agree with you though that Montazeri was naive, ignorant, and even - if it must be said - delusional to think that someone like Khomeini was going to compromise on any of these issues. But this is light years away from saying that he deliberately was a complicit and active protagonist of the whole Islamist project, as it ultimately unfolded after the revolution.

The claim that he 'saved his conscience in the end' is again just empty anecdote. Show me the evidence. Other mullahs did not 'save' their conscience. So why did Montazeri? And why at that particularly (and undoubtedly) inconvenient time and place?

As to my 'righteousness' I have never been a righteous person...only an honest iconoclast who is never reluctant to shatter that pride-complex of yours which is the exact sort of syndrome that has always retarded progressive aspirations in Iran.

As long as people, of any political stripe, are willing to admit their mistakes then I am willing to listen.

Azarmehr said...


I have not heard of such a fatwa by Montazeri, someone else left it as a comment but showed no evidence. In any case these people dont seem to have updated themselves with the current situation in Iran and their focus is always on the past. Its like as if the Czech people would constantly say Dubcek was part of the the Communist politburo or blame 98% of Iranians for having voted for Islamic Republic in 1979. Things have changed we need a broad front to defeat this vicious regime and if parts of the regime collapse and join the movement we should welcome it and not push them back. The kind of people who think they can defeat this vicious regime by just sticking to those who think the same as them either live in cuckoo land or in the cyber space alone

Rostam Farrokhzadeh said...

Azarmehr you still don't get it!?

The people of Iran no longer want ANY type of Islamic Republic ... you are out of touch with reality perhaps because you live in London and between web posting sip cafe late ... the Iranian people are on the march and they will destroy this fascist Islamic Republic in its entirety ...

You and those like you need to join the opposition to teh Islamic Republic and call for truely secular Iran and stop being part of teh problem and part of Iran's future solution!

Aryamehr said...


To a degree I agree with you - but I think there are many who like me are wary about "former" regime collaborators being exalted and likened to "fathers of democracy". I agree with you that a broad coalition is needed to overthrow the regime but at the same time I think it's important for people to be AWARE of the ideals/history of people like Mousavi and Karobi which in my opinion they are using as pretexts to stage their acts of civil disobedience and protest-actions. As for Mousavi & Co and the chants in support of him - my take is that given that Mousavi himself is a staunch supporter of the Islamic Republic and its ideals - the very same people who chant support for him and in their second breath chant death to the Supreme Leader who symbolizes the entire structure of the regime - the conclusion I come to is that they are using him as a pre-text. The same goes for the demands for a secular society and the religious chants used in demo's. What is your take on these contradictory messages?

Azarmehr said...

"Farokhzad" I think because even in London you are locked in your closet and only show bravado on cyber space you just dont get it that Montazeri's death spread teh movement to even the remotest towns and thinned out security forces. Keep on commenting under a pseudo name the art of revolution is not for you

Azarmehr said...


There is a time and place for everything. If this coup is defeated people will become more and more confident it will be more difficult to crackdown on people and then in a freer atmosphere you can progress other agendas with the consent of the people. The reverse is also true if the coup is not defeated people will become more hopeless and think despite all the sacrifices they made they couldn't change things then we will have to wait another 30 years for another generation. Anyone who focuses on the past now endangers the most progressive movement in the Middle East from winning.

My problem with people who show too much bravado on cyber space or in safe places is that they are always absent from more dangerous actions. After all we have a Supreme Leaders office in London in Maida Vale, we have 70,000 Iranian expats how many will turn up to take it over? Lets not undermine the courage of people in Iran, they know what they are doing and have put us expats to shame

Sohrab said...

Please, please enough sectarian bickering, enough re-hashing of events from the 1970s and 80s -- right now is the time to stand united with our brothers and sisters and to project a united front against the putschists. What could have been under the Shah, which foreign power was behind the Islamic revolution, etc. etc. These questions are distractions from the real fight. It's the same process as the one that crippled the American left for decades because it couldn't make any progress in the here and now because they were obsessed with the Kennedy assassination.

Right now, there is one common enemy, one common goal, and one common set of alliances. We abroad need to put up or shut up because we don't get to choose who the leaders of the movement should be. We can either play a positive role by standing behind our people or a negative one by making this a replay of bullshit from the 70s that the Iranian people, frankly, don't give a rat's ass about.

Please get on board Rostam and Aryamehr. I respect both of you because I intuitively identify with your position. But I also know that we from abroad shouldn't play a counterproductive role and shouldn't say anything that undermines the unity of the movement. Let the historians deal with the legacy of the Shah and the 79 generation.

Sohrab said...

The Pahlavi cause -- and I do wish the Shah wasn't overthrown because he was a good man -- is historically exhausted.

Aryamehr said...

"we from abroad shouldn't play a counterproductive role and shouldn't say anything that undermines the unity of the movement"


I am onboard but i'm not onboard blindly - i'm onboard for a reason (freedom, democracy, secularism) and if something doesn't seem right to me I will question it (i have the opportunity to do so whereas others caught up in events in Iran might not be). Now i'm just trying to understand the actions of some of the other factions that seem to be onboard. If my two questions cause disunity then the existing unity is useless - seriously.

I don't want my compatriots' blood to have been shed in vein for the Islamic Republic to remain intact and for Mousavi to replace AN. By the look of things from today this won't happen and people are going to uproot this system...

Anonymous said...

'll tell you how Montazeri was ignorant of Khomeini's plan: the same reason millions of Iranians were! Montazeri, like the moderate Iranians who were defrauded by Khomeini's false promises, thought the pre-1979 'mollahs won't get involved' slogan would be followed through. However, after the revolution Khomeini's true agenda took full resolve.

Bullshit! (sugar on top)

Montazeri showed his stupidity TWICE.

First when he supposedly fell for Khomeini’s lies before Khomeini took power. I have a hard time believing he fellfor Khomeini’s lies – Montazeri always knew about Khomeini’s aims and the doctrine of Velayate Faghih and Khomeini’s hokoomate eslami – how could he not have known?? Montazeri studied under Khomeini for years!

How can you honestly compare a GRAND Ayatollah to the average ignorant Iranian, who often like sheep follow these ayatollahs and Islamic ideologues?! Explain that.

At best, given our past experience, we should not trust another Ayatollah, another Islamic representative, their judgment and nonsense any more.

Moreover, when the hell did montazeri object to Iranians not being given a choice at the referendum?!! The only option for Iranians during the referendum, after Khomeini’s arrival in Iran, was a Jomhouriyeh Eslami! Voting was compulsory and not anonymously.

Did montazeri, unlike Shariatmadari, object to this singular option and edict? The answer is NO.

Second period of ignorance for montazeri was later (10 years later) when he could’ve become the supreme leader, had he kept his mouth shut. This shows political ignorance too. If he wanted to “Reform” the IRI, he could’ve kept his mouth shut until assuming the role of supreme leader and then made changes (reformed) when he was in power and had more sway as the Supreme leader!

Either way montazeri’s repentance does NOT make him a saint or a hero like some like to portray him, karoubi or mousavi. Just because there are other unrepentant more Islamic, fascist, Marxist, communist, etc assholes in the Iranian political and social scenes, it does not make montazeri a hero. What kinda standards and point of comparison do we set for ourselves?!

Montazeri to the day he died wanted an Islamic Republic for Iran; he said so too, but not the kind with Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, etc.

The shah too did go on TV in Iran and on a number of occasions, did say he made mistakes, and did ask for second chance. Don’t you remember? Iranians could‘ve at least given Bakhtiar’s government a chance. Don’t tell me it was the extremists who took over and stole our freedom. Extremists of any kind could not have had a chance unless people and moderates at large giving them the chance (now we call it a MISTAKE!!)

Montazeri and the Shah are dead. It’s history.

Points for the future, drawing on past lessons are:

1-We should not get so engrossed in the frenzy of change where we forget what can lie ahead, and fall for all sorts of garbage fed to us. That’s a “mistake” we made 30 years ago and look where we are now!

2- We must have a clear vision of what we want. Do we want reform of IRI or something else? IRI constitution has everything under the banner of Islam and sharia. Do we want that in the future? WHAT KINDA CHANGE ARE WE TALKING ABOUT AFTER IRI, AHMADINEJAD OR KHAMENEI???

These are my points and the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

Here's my question: The Iranian gov't and the U.S. gov't have been at odds for a looooong time - but that doesn't really translate into "the protestors want American help" - or does it? Most Americans would like nothing better than an Iran we could consider a friend.

reza said...


Again, Montazeri's proximity to Khomeini does not disqualify him from being an ignorant person. Many non-religious intellectuals fell for Khomeini's lies. This is nothing special. Look at Lebanon. There are many intellectual (religious and secular) Shi'ites who fervently support Hezbollah, even though they know well what Hezbollah's aspirations have been historically and what its ideological roots are. But this does not prevent them from falling into the same delusional trap Iranians did in 1979. Of course, demographically and politically, Iran and Lebanon are two different cases, but the point does stand.

As to accepting supreme leadership, this is a lose-lose argument. If he accepted the leadership, he would have been condemned by the opposition as having a bloody hand in the regime; he steps back, and you criticize him anyway. So whats the point? What could he achieved as supreme leader anyways? This reminds me of when Hassan Nasrallah tried convincing the Iraqi opposition to lay down arms against Saddam Hussein and instead rely on the hope that he could diplomatically curb some of Saddam's aggression against the Shi'ites (which enraged the latter and rightfully so). Yes Montazeri wanted an Islamic Republic, I have not denied this. I already assented to this point. However, as I stated earlier, his concept was much more allegorical than Khomeini's. What do you expect, he's a cleric, I didn't say he was an enlightened man. He was a delusional man, but with good intentions. That is my point.

See, Mousavi, on the other hand, is a perfect example of what Montazeri WAS NOT. Mousavi only realized that the regime was crooked AFTER he lost in the elections and thus the 'personal interest' argument holds more ground here. But Montazeri did exactly the opposite of such a selfish scheme.

I never called him a hero. I acknowledged that he was an insider who realized he wanted to get out and defend the truth instead. I respect him for this. He acknowledged his fallibility and that of the regime's at a great cost of his personal interests. I simply cannot reconcile this selfless act with the proposition that he was still as crooked as some have depicted him to be. Why did he not pull a Mousavi move instead? Why did he not realize the truth after suffering a great political loss as opposed to paying a great loss in order to defend the truth? Answer this. The Mousavi-Montazeri bipolar complex is a great measure of the differential political phenomenon that has occurred here.

As for Bakhtiar, he was a very enlightened man. Yes, I wish Iranians were less credulous at the time so they could have averted what was coming to them.

As for the Shah, I already explained to you the asymmetry of that comparison. Since we are looking to the future and not the past, I will not waste my time on such a conjecture which has already been redundantly beaten down by the facts of history.