» 02/21/2008, 00.00
Ayatollah Montazeri blasts the lack of freedom in Iran
In a country where election races are controlled by the establishment, executions are continually increasing, and the freedom of the press and of assembly are violated on a daily basis, the voice of the 85 year-old ayatollah rings out in protest. He is one of the leaders of the Islamic theocracy, and one of the "fathers" of modern Iran.
Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The grand ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri denounces the lack of freedom in the Islamic republic of Iran, with special reference to the race for the upcoming elections on March 14.
The misdeeds of the council of guardians, which has dutifully barred the way for hundreds of reformist candidates, offers a disheartening panorama, and, according to the ayatollah, depicts Islam as a violent and coercive religion.
In spite of the fact that just a few days ago this same council - which has the last word on candidacies - rehabilitated 251 reformists, the moderates have little hope of matching up to the monolithic presence of the conservatives in parliament.
In a statement reported by the reformist newspaper Etemad, ayatollah Montazeri said: "We have succeeded in achieving independence. But freedom, which is advocated by Islam and the constitution, has been sacrificed. A clear and deplorable example of that is the mass disqualifications which have taken place regardless of the law and national interests and only out of political bias".
Ayatollah Ali Montazeri was one of the leaders of the Islamic revolution in Iran, and was initially designated by Khomeini as his possible successor. His relationship with the supreme leader deteriorated when Montazeri came out in favour of the legalisation of political parties, and began to denounce the violations of freedom in the new Islamic republic. In spite of having spent five years under house arrest and of his precarious health, ayatollah Montazeri still remains today an influential political figure in Iran, and does not hold back from criticising current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his economic policies and over the nuclear question, calling for him to moderate his usual provocative tone, which creates conflict and tension at both the national and international level.
Ali Khamenei: No foreign power behind the protests in Tehran
The Supreme Leader of Iran rules out that Western governments were behind the demonstrations. He confirms that there is "no evidence" but adds that the mass demonstrations were planned in advance. The ayatollah has distanced himself from the hard line promoted by conservatives and President Ahmadinejad.
Ayatollah Jannti says "voting is like praying"
Polls open in Iran, Khamenei asks people to vote
The conservatives are divided and are likely to steal votes from one another. Moderates and reformers united around Hassan Rohani hope for a run off on 21 June. The Supreme Leader: "The votes needed to give Ahmadinejad’s successor the strength to fight the enemies of our Republic."
Voter turn out in Iranian elections well above expectations
Polling has been extended to cope with the stream of voters indicating a return of young people in election participation. It is similar to 1979, when the “reformist” Khatami swept to power beating the Supreme Guide’s candidate. Even the ayatollahs appear divided.
15/05/2017 11:32:00 IRAN
The ayatollahs pull against the democracy of presidential elections
On May 19, Iran will choose its president. But power is always in the hands of the Ali Khamenei and the Guardians of the Constitution. The population and above all the young people want reforms and openings to the world.
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
18/05/2017 ASIA - VATICAN
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.