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Iranian Firebrand Cleric is a U.S. Green Card Holder - Controversy is brewing in Tehran after it was exposed recently that cleric Morteza Agha-Tehrani, an avid Ahmadinejad supporter and Resistance Front Secretary-General, is a U.S. Green Card holder.

Source: Tehran-e Emrooz daily, Iran

Morteza Agha-Tehrani is a hardline Iranian shia cleric and politician who is widely seen as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's moral advisor and the ethics mentor of his cabinet. He has been selected as a member of Iranian Parliament representing Tehran in 2008 legislative election. He is also one of the closest disciples of Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi.

According to Agha-Tehrani's page on wikipedia: "Agha-Tehrani was among the group of clerics sent abroad by Mesbah-Yazdi to study and obtain degrees from Western universities. Agha-Tehrani studied in Canada for a while before transferring to New York as a student. There, he continued his studies at a university in upstate New York, and also became the religious leader of the Islamic Institute of New York. He was able to finish his studies with the help of couple of other people and get a Ph.D. in philosophy. Though he has an advanced degree from an American institution, it is said he cannot speak English fluently. He employed the services of a translator for his mosque sermons. He obtained a U.S. green card to facilitate travel, but his attitude to the West and especially the U.S. has been harsh and unfriendly. Reportedly, he did not approve of Iranians living in the U.S and encouraged them to go back to Iran. He sent his own son back to Iran at the age of 14 to undertake seminary studies in preparation for a clerical career. Like his mentor Mesbah-Yazdi, Agha-Tehrani takes a harsh stance towards people and groups that do not share his ideas."

Morteza Agha-Tehrani

Addressing a congregation in the small town of Zarand in 2007, Agha-Tehrani said this about the Iranian reformists: "Like a toilet paper that you wipe a baby's behind with and then you throw it away, throw these filthies [reformists] away. And don't get any close to them."


In recent weeks, after the $3B financial scandal surfaced in Iran, it came to light that some of the high officials of the regime are holding citizenship of other countries. For example, Mahmoudreza Khavari, former head of Bank Melli of Iran, had a Canadian citizenship. Khavari, a suspect in the bank fraud case, flew from Iran to Canada upon resignation in order and has refused to return to be questioned about the case.

... Payvand News - 10/27/11 ... --

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