Ayatollah Montazeri’s letter

Edit : If you can read French, be sure to read the latest posts about ayatollah’s death.

Edit : Thanks to Daniel Allen, who has corrected some errors.

In the name of God

People of Iran

These last days, we have witnessed the lively efforts of you, brothers and sisters, old and young alike, from every social category, for the 10th presidential elections.

Our youth, hoping to see their rightful will fulfilled, came on the scene and waited patiently. This was the greatest occasion for the government’s officials to bond with their people.

However, unfortunately, they used it in the worst way possible. Declaring results that no one in their right mind can believe, and despite all the evidence of crafted results, and contrary to the people’s protestations, in front of the eyes of the same nation who carried the weight of a revolution and 8 years of war, in front of the eyes of local and foreign reporters, attacked the children of the people with astonishing violence. And now they are attempting a purge, arresting intellectuals, political opponents and Scientists.

Now, based on my religious duties, I will remind you:

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- Given the current circumstances, I expect the government to take all measures to restore people’s confidence. Otherwise, as I have already said, a government not respecting the people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy.

3- I invite everyone, especially the youth, to continue reclaiming their dues calmly, and not to allow those who want to associate this movement with chaos succeed.

4- 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.

I pray for the greatness of the Iranian people.

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35 commentaires

  1. Daniel Allen said,

    16/06/2009 at 5:13

    Dear Sir or Madam

    By way of introduction I am a freelance English language editor and writer. To be brief, I have taken the liberty of editing Ayatollah Montazeri’s letter, making a few corrections to grammar and spelling. The translation was already a very good one, but I wanted just to make the last 1% of improvement.

    With best wishes
    Daniel Allen

    I can send a Word document showing the changes if required, but this is the amended English letter:

    Ayatollah Montazeri’s letter
    16/06/2009

    In the name of God

    People of Iran

    These last days, we have witnessed the lively efforts of you, brothers and sisters, old and young alike, from every social category, for the 10th presidential elections.

    Our youth, hoping to see their rightful will fulfilled, came on the scene and waited patiently. This was the greatest occasion for the government’s officials to bond with their people.

    However, unfortunately, they used it in the worst way possible. Declaring results that no one in their right mind can believe, and despite all the evidence of crafted results, and contrary to the people’s protestations, in front of the eyes of the same nation who carried the weight of a revolution and 8 years of war, in front of the eyes of local and foreign reporters, attacked the children of the people with astonishing violence. And now they are attempting a purge, arresting intellectuals, political opponents and Scientists.

    Now, based on my religious duties, I will remind you:

    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- Given the current circumstances, I expect the government to take all measures to restore people’s confidence. Otherwise, as I have already said, a government not respecting the people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy.

    3- I invite everyone, especially the youth, to continue reclaiming their dues calmly, and not to allow those who want to associate this movement with chaos succeed.

    4- 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.

    I pray for the greatness of the Iranian people.

  2. 16/06/2009 at 5:28

    […] Montazeri, Iran protests, Iranian presidential election, Khomeini, Musavi by TML Translation from here. This is not the equivalent of a senator in the US. Montazeri is one of the most esteemed clerics […]

  3. 16/06/2009 at 5:50

    […] De son côté, le grand ayatollah Montazeri, figure très respectée de l’opposition a dénoncé publiquement les violences à l’encontre des manifestants et le résultats des […]

  4. 16/06/2009 at 6:22

    […] Grand Ayatollah Montazeri released the following statement (as translated from the original Persian): In the name of […]

  5. 16/06/2009 at 8:45

    […] Watch reader James has sent me a translation of a letter from the Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who was a key participant in the Iranian revolution and then a principal opponent of the Ayatollah […]

  6. Steven said,

    17/06/2009 at 1:15

    This situation is the most important and compelling exercise in self determination and political reform in 40 years. If the Iranians are not successful the world will be less safe. Together we can mold the actions of our governments and bring peace & prosperity to all countries.

  7. 17/06/2009 at 2:26

    […] in Tehran garnered some relatively unexpected support today. Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri issued this statement and open letter to the people of Iran. He is a well respected reformist and religious scholar within […]

  8. 17/06/2009 at 2:47

    […] by Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri to the Iranian people was striking in its honesty. In his letter Ayatollah Montazeri slams the regime for its astonishingly violent attempts to purge dissent, and […]

  9. Josie said,

    17/06/2009 at 2:55

    We are praying for the people of Iran. Though some Americans and some Iranians have different ideas of what it is to be free, we share so many basic ideas and values. We are praying that your children are safe, that your people are heard, and that our countries can be friends.

  10. Anonyme said,

    17/06/2009 at 4:11

    Just who is to choose the boxes for recount…If the boxes are known beforehand by « THE POWER » will that not be a gamble with tricky hands….Why not just show « ALL » the ballot boxes AND then « THE PEOPLE » can choose which boxes they want recounted. Then what if the selected boxes are then counted and shown to incorrect, what path will be taken…Don’t tell us that OK so we will make the regional changes or will that then automatically lead to new elections or a total recount…

  11. 17/06/2009 at 9:33

    […] One thing is for sure though. Religiously he ranks far higher than the supreme leader and therefore what he says is of great importance to the man on the street in Iran. He has now officially questioned the election results. You can find his Persian message on his official web site and an English translation posted on this blog. […]

  12. Remi Beauchamp said,

    17/06/2009 at 11:14

    One Grand Ayatollah who sees reason, that is a hopeful start. Now, the world can only hope that several more open-minded and reasonable Ayatollahs will also chime in and say « This election was a fraud, and no pious mind can ever endorse it ». Just a few more Ayatollahs need to step up, and suddenly the game has changed!

  13. 17/06/2009 at 12:46

    […] at one time under consideration to replace Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as Supreme Leader, wrote on his website that the official results were so ludicrous that no one could believe them.  He attacked the […]

  14. 17/06/2009 at 2:03

    […] June 17, 2009 Le soutien de Montazeri Posted by lesobservateurs under 1 No Comments  L’Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, successeur désigné de Khomeini au titre de Guide Suprême jusqu’en 1988, date à laquelle ses critiques contre le massacre de dizaines de milliers de prisonniers politiques lui ont valu d’être exclu de la succession, au profit de l’actuel guide Ali Khameneii, et placé en résidence surveillé, a lancé un appel de soutien aux manifestants depuis sa résidence surveillée. Le texte publié sur le site web de Montazeri a été traduit en anglais sur ce blog (qui donne d’autres nouvelles traduites depuis le persan) :  […]

  15. 17/06/2009 at 2:07

    […] Ayatollah Montazeri’s letter is stunning. It reveals a serious crack in the religious hierarchy in Iran. Nothing is more significant or could weigh more on what happens going forward. […]

  16. 17/06/2009 at 3:19

    […] Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Montazeri splits with Supreme Leader and Ahmadinejad: his letter supporting protestors In the name of God […]

  17. treknor said,

    17/06/2009 at 4:00

    I hope the people of Iran will get peace and freedom. I do not believe inany god.. so I will never understand the most of Iran.. but I think people are all over the world the same… they just want to live in peace..

    greetings to the people of Iran.. I hope you make it !!!!

  18. Scott said,

    17/06/2009 at 4:34

    Sounds like Ayatollah Montazeri is a smart man, like his background and history suggests.

  19. D S A said,

    17/06/2009 at 5:45

    I have read elsewhere that Ayatollah Janati [sp?] who is the leader of the highly conservative Council of Guardians [and this no friend of Mousavi, Rafsnjani] had earlier threatened Mousavi with severe punishment if a review found no problems – and that Janati’s threat was not made to Mousavi’s protest colleague, the other reform candidate (and cleric).

    I then read that when the Council revised its decision of a ten-day review, to instead conduct a review done in three days, the Council’s statement included no such threat to Mousave.

    As it is known that Montazeri is very reformist [so his views might tend to be disregarded by the Council], the weight of his statements – and its ability to force the hand of the Council – would seem to depend both on how his ‘seniority’ compares to the seniority of others WITHIN the Guardian Council, AND on a numbers game – just how many other clergy outside the Council [‘senior’ and ‘junior’] might stand with him…

    My Qs for any out there familiar with clergy hierarchy:
    (1)how many [if any] on the Council are currently higher in the hierarchy?

    (2) Is Janati [the Council head] at the same level, below, or above Montazeri in this hierarchy?

    (3) Any estimate of numbers of clergy, perhaps even from inside the holy city of Qum – might be willing to join in with Montazeri?

    Thanks to any scholars who can answer these Qs…

  20. Jalal said,

    17/06/2009 at 5:50

    As an Iranian who hates with passion the Islamic Regime of Iran, and who considers all Ayatollah’s as abunch of evil do-ers, I have come to respect Montazeri for his dignity and humility as a human being (if not as an Iranian). I sincerely pray and hope there are more « human beings » like Montazeri in the top evil regime of Islamic Republic.

  21. 17/06/2009 at 5:52

    […] statement (translation) Jump to Comments Over at 0×6675636B, an Iranian expat has posted a translated version of Ayatollah Montazeri’s letter criticizing the Iranian elections and government crackdown.  […]

  22. Amadeus said,

    17/06/2009 at 5:55

    @ D S A

    1- There is no higher level. There is no supreme religious authority in shia islam. Several different mullahs can issue fatwas, and although Jannati does not (as far as I know) and Montazeri does, it does not place one under the other.

    2- I would say below, but at this level, it’s more a question of personal preference.

    3- Montazeri has been under house arrest for years now. I have heard of another grand Ayatollah protesting the results (Ayatollah Zanjani) but in general, the grand ayatollahs tend not to get involved in political life. Those we see everyday are geenrally lower rank ones (Rafsanjani, Karroubi, even Khamenei has usurpated the title of ayatollah and is not one. They actually had to modify the constitution after the death of Khomeini in order to elect him as guide.)

  23. beyoundbull said,

    17/06/2009 at 11:02

    I for one do not believe the election results are so far fetched…

    The few international polls done before the election indicated that Ahmadinejad was going to win 3 to 1 over other candicates.

    Most folks are not aware that in 2005, Ahmadinejah received 61.5% of the votes, when he went head to head against the encumbant president, Ayatollah Rafsanjani, whose position, wealth, family power, contacts, and robe did not apparently help him…

    I have not seen any evidence / proof for the allegations. Ahmadinejad having received 62% against other candidates is not far fetched.

    A far more likely scenario is that the same folks who lost power in 2005 want to get back control of government.

  24. Amadeus said,

    18/06/2009 at 9:44

    >The few international polls done before the election >indicated that Ahmadinejad was going to win 3 to 1 >over other candicates.

    Any links? I have not heard of any such results.

    >Most folks are not aware that in 2005, Ahmadinejah >received 61.5% of the votes, when he went head to >head against the encumbant president, Ayatollah >Rafsanjani, whose position, wealth, family power, >contacts, and robe did not apparently help him…

    In 2005, Rafsanjani was not the incumbent president. And Ahmadinejad won because of the massive boycott. But even then, his victory seemed suspiscious. Karroubi who was already a candidate wrote a letter to Khamenei protesting against the results.

    >I have not seen any evidence / proof for the >allegations. Ahmadinejad having received 62% against >other candidates is not far fetched.

    What are you expecting? A letter signed by Khamenei and published by the government declaring they made up numbers?

  25. chris said,

    18/06/2009 at 11:33

    God is more powerful than any religious leader. It will be God’s call in the end. No-one can stop him.
    It appears that God sides with the protesters.

  26. 19/06/2009 at 12:09

    […] Ayatollah Montazeri’s letter Edit : Thanks to Daniel Allen, who has corrected some errors. In the name of God People of Iran These last days, we […] […]

  27. Bob Lippman said,

    19/06/2009 at 9:56

    Grand Ayatollah Montazeri,
    Your insight & obvious deep belief are a beautiful inspiration to those of us Christians who want peace & understanding, as a two way street, with Islam. May your words bring comfort & harmony to your people. Thank-you.
    Bob Lippman

  28. 20/06/2009 at 12:42

    […] Even the Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri have joined this skepticism.  ”No one in their right mind can believe” the official results from Friday’s contest, he said of the landslide victory claimed by Ahmadinejad. Montazeri accused the regime of handling Mousavi’s charges of fraud and the massive protests of his backers “in the worst way possible.” “A government not respecting people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy,” he declared in comments on his official Web site. (Full letter here) […]

  29. odienk said,

    20/06/2009 at 8:10

    thank you for your post, i have not really understand the situation that happent in iran lately

  30. 02/07/2009 at 8:25

    […] Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, once the presumed successor to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei, condemned the violence against the protesters and decried the legitimacy of the elections as ” no one in […]

  31. 19/07/2009 at 1:26

    […] An English translation of the letter in its entirety. […]

  32. 30/11/2010 at 4:20

    […] kojayi.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/ayatollah-montazeris-letter/ […]

  33. 04/12/2010 at 1:15

    […] kojayi.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/ayatollah-montazeris-letter/ […]

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