Ayatollah Montazeri’s Letter Of Dissent – Iran Reform

Back in  2009, it was with great hope and interest that Progressive Christians were watching the political protests in Iran. At that time, a public address by Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri to the Iranian people was striking in its honesty. In his letter Ayatollah Montazeri slammed the regime for its astonishingly violent attempts to purge dissent, and its illegitimate arrests of intellectuals, political opponents, and scientists.

Montazeri warned the ruling hierarchy of Iran that a legitimate state must respect all points of view, and should not oppress critical views.1 He urged the government to take all measures to restore people’s confidence, further warning that a government not respecting the people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy.

Montazeri encouraged the youth of Iran in their continued struggle to reclaim what is rightfully theirs, while warning the police and army personnel not to sell their religion,2 and be aware that receiving orders will not excuse them before God. Censorship and cutting telecommunication lines can’t hide the truth, said Grand Ayatollah Montazeri.

Progressive words indeed. While the reformers did not win at the time, and Montazeri has since passed away, let us hope for the sake of the Iranian people that they do not give up in their struggles for a more honest and free country.

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  1. A legitimate state must respect all points of view. It may not oppress critical views. I fear that this will lead to the loss of people’s faith in Islam. []
  2. I ask the police and army personnel not to “sell their religion”, and be aware that receiving orders will not excuse them before God. Recognize the protesting youth as your children. Today, censorship and cutting telecommunication lines can not hide the truth. []