He declared: "These days, a point that has been
hampered on is our obligation to protect the system. But this is not an
intrinsic obligation. That is to say, if to protect the Islamic system, we break
Islamic principles, then the system will not be protected. The Islamic system is
only an introduction to the actualization of Islamic principles. If protection
of the system becomes an excuse for anti-Islamic actions, neither the system nor
Islam will endure."
Iranian government has confronted people's protest to June presidential victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which they claimed was fraudulent, with violence and arrests. Tens of protesters were killed and many detainees have been allegedly tortured and even raped. The violence has been justified to a large extent by the armed forces on the grounds that they are bound by duty to protect the system at all costs. Ayatollah Montazeri has condemned these treatments in all his public statements.
Citing the main slogan of the 1979 Revolution, "Independence, Freedom; Islamic Republic!" Ayatollah Montazeri added: "Independence is being free of foreign intervention and freedom is giving people the freedom to express their opinions. Not being put in prison for every protest one utters."
The prominent cleric also commented on the recent conservative attacks against the term "republic" saying: "Republic means the government is formed based on people's vote and Islamic means because the people are Muslims, the government will operate on the principles of Islam."
In reference to the instrumental role of the Revolutionary Guards in suppressing people's protests in the recent events, Ayatollah Montazeri once more quoted Ayatollah Khomeini the leader of the Revolution saying: "The armed forces shall not interfere in politics." He emphasized that military power could be abused in the political arena and therefore the leader of the Revolution excluded the armed forces from influencing political issues. He also encouraged the armed forces to hold their weapons against the enemy and not against their people and their friends.
... Payvand News - 10/15/09 ... --