May 11, 2005


Top clerics blast Iran regime as vote nears (Agence France Presse, May 12, 2005)

Two of Iran's most senior dissident pro-reform Shiite clerics have hit out at the Islamic regime ahead of next month's presidential election, accusing hard-liners of failing to deliver on revolutionary promises of fundamental freedoms.Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri and Grand Ayatollah Yusef Saanei also voiced pessimism over the prospect for a free and fair poll on June 17.

"My point of view, and I cannot say more than this, is that things are not going in the right direction," said Montazeri, who is in his mid-80s and is one of the Islamic Republic's most prominent dissidents.

"At the beginning of the revolution the late Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini] and I gave promises of liberty, and these promises have not been lived up to," he said in a rare interview at his home in Qom, Iran's clerical capital just south of Tehran.

Once tapped as the successor to revolutionary leader Khomeini, Montazeri fell from grace after he became too openly critical of political and cultural restrictions.

President Bush needs to give a speech along these lines, noting that the Revolution has failed by orthodox Shiite terms and by its own heretical terms.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 11, 2005 8:02 PM

Why not just say that the revolution has failed?

Posted by: jd watson at May 12, 2005 5:10 AM

Gotta hit 'em where it hurts.

Kill the top 500 or so in the "mullahocracy" and the whole country will change.

It certainly changed quickly enough in 1978/79.

Posted by: ratbert at May 12, 2005 10:32 AM