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Reformist cleric, Ayatollah Montazeri, condemns dogmatic protection of regime

Report Source: Radio Zamaneh

Ayatollah Montazeri, one of the most prominent critics of the Islamic Republic's recent policies has consistently spoken out against Iran's current government. The reformist cleric, who was one of the main authors of the Islamic Republic constitution, and recently apologized to the people of Iran for creating the Velayat-e Faghih, a position of leadership which he feels has been abused to suppress people's legitimate demands in recent years, continued his criticism of the government's post-election actions in a session on ethics today Wednesday.

Ayatollah Montazeri

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 ... --

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