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09/15/10

Dissident cleric rebukes Iran Assembly of Experts

Source: Radio Zamaneh


Ayatollah Dastgheib

Ayatollah Dastgheib, Iranian dissident cleric and Fars Province representative at the Assembly of Experts, boycotted the annual session today in protest to the assembly's indifference to the demands of the people.

Ayatollah Dastgheib published an open letter on his website addressing the members of the assembly urging them to abandon "deviatory discussions" in order to attend to the demands of the people of Iran.

He writes: "After one whole year have we been able to establish relative peace in the system, free of fear and terror? If we still insist there are no problems in our society, then why do we have to consistently verbalize the need for unity?"

He condemned insults and accusations against disputing candidates of the 2009 presidential elections, Mir Hosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, and writes: "What did we gain from a year of accusations? From the national broadcasting to the judiciary and the military and security forces right up to the Assembly of Experts; have we gained people's satisfaction?"


Assembly of Experts's session

Javan website, a site connected with Iran's Revolutionary Guards, explained Ayatollah Dastgheib's absence from the Assembly of Experts today as a sign of his support for "seditious elements."

Islamic Republic hardliners consistently accuse the opposition of trying to topple the government but the opposition rejects the accusations and insists that it only demands a complete return to the constitution.

Ayatollah Dastgheib has repeatedly condemned Islamic Republic's violent reaction toward protesters of the last presidential election in the past year.

His criticisms have made him a target of violent pro-government mobs who raided his office and swarmed his home and on two other occasions attacked Ghoba Mosque where he leads the mass prayers in Shiraz.

The pro-government officials in Qom have called for his prosecution and most recently 13 members of his seminary were also arrested.

So far, Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader has resisted hardliner demands to dismiss Ayatollah Dastgheib form the Assembly of Experts.
 

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