Sunday, August 25, 2019 06:10

Iranian Supreme Leader urged to hold talks with opposition leaders

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Ayatollah Khamenei

Ahmad Montazeri, the son of the late dissident Iranian cleric Ayatollah Hosseinali Montazeri, is urging the Iranian Surpeme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to begin a dialogue with the opposition leaders.

Kaleme website reports that in an open letter, Ahmad Montazeri has asked Ayatollah Khamenei to make "a historic decision" in solving the current problems.

The son of the dissident cleric who passed away last December amidst the mass protests against the controversial re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, writes that "releasing political prisoners and having sympathy for their families and all the families who have lost a loved one in recent events will earn support from every part of the nation."

Over the past year, the Iranian government has arrested scores of political and student activists as well as journalists and citizen protesters.

"Mr. Mousavi, Mr. Karroubi, Mr. Khatami, Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani and yourself have been prime minister, speaker of the parliament and president during the past 30 years. Holding direct and friendly talks among the five of you could solve most of the problems and put a light of hope in the hearts of the people" Montazeri writes. "Such actions would strengthen your power and position and give others a greater appreciation for an Islamic leader."

Montazeri adds that maintaining the status quo will lead to the "fall of moderate forces and the rise of radical and extremist ones," to a point where even the supreme leader might lose control.

Ayatollah Khamenei was the first Iranian political figure to refer to MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi as "leaders of a sedition" after the two men challenged the legitimacy of the 2009 elections, which in turn led to mass demonstrations in Tehran and other major cities.

However, Ayatollah Khamenei has refrained from calling for the two opposition leaders to be prosecuted, and the head of Iran's judiciary has repeatedly cited the leader’s belief that imprisoning Mousavi and Karroubi is not in the regime’s best interest.

However, following the renewal of protests on February 14, the two opposition leaders have been put under house arrest and completely cut off from the outside world.

The Supreme Leader has remained silent regarding these developments and, by some accounts, he was surprised by the opposition’s ability to rally such a crowd after a year without protests.