Dissident cleric dies

IRAN’S most senior dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who emerged as the spiritual father of its reform movement, died yesterday.

He was 87.

For years, Montazeri had accused the country’s ruling Islamic establishment of imposing dictatorship in the name of Islam, and he persisted with his criticism following June’s disputed presidential election.

His stance made him a hero to the opposition, and his criticisms were even more stinging because of his status.

Montazeri’s grandson, Nasser Montazeri, said he died in his sleep overnight.


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