Iran to lift house arrest of Khamenei fierce opponent
Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) has decided to lift house arrest Tuesday of Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri who is based in the religious city of Qom, an
interior ministry official told IRNA Monday.
"According to the directive of the country's Supreme National Security Council, the confinement of Ayatollah Montazeri will be broken tomorrow (Tuesday)," the official said. The decision comes following about 110 Iranian MPs' letter to President Mohammad Khatami, who had expressed concern about the "serious" health conditions of Ayatollah Montazeri.
"According to the directive, the governors of Qom and Isfahan provinces have been given necessary guidelines about how to deal with the outbreak of probable tensions," the official said.
Montazeri, 81, once in line to be Iran's supreme leader, accused Iran’s conservatives of monopolizing power. He had criticized the severe treatment of dissidents, including torture and incommunicado detention, and the mass executions of political prisoners.
In November 1997, he was arrested and held incommunicado for almost two months following a speech in which he criticized the assumption of supreme powers by Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Since his return to house arrest in 1998, he has been placed under increased police surveillance and prevented from teaching at his religious school. (Albawaba.com)
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