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Photos: Funeral Of A Revered Ayatollah, Hossein Ali Montazeri


Photos by Mohammad Akhlaghi, Mehr News Agency

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri was 87.

According to reports, Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, who died on Sunday, was buried in Massoumeh's Shrine in the city of Qom besides his martyred son's grave. Hundreds of thousands of grieving people packed the streets of Qom chanting slogans praising the revered Ayatollah and the opposition movement; they also chanted against a government they see as illegitimate. There have been reports of some clashes between mourners and Basij and security forces during the funeral procession.

Mourners attend the funeral ceremony of Iranian Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the spiritual father of Iran's reform movement, his body in a casket at left, in the city of Qom, Iran, 21 Dec 2009


Iran's opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi who had declared Monday a day of mourning participated at the funeral.

Mir Hossein Mousavi

Mehdi Karoubi

Montazeri was one of the founding fathers of the Islamic Republic and remained a top arbiter of Shi'ite law. But his criticism of what he saw as authoritarianism and human rights abuses led to his being dropped as successor to the nation's Supreme Leader. The ayatollah continued his opposition from Qom, where he spent several years under house arrest for his outspoken views. This year he played a critical role in condemning the government after the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a subsequent crackdown on opposition supporters.

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