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Iran Video & Text: Montazeri's Son Saeed On His Father's Views, Last Words

Our gratitude to an EA reader for finding the video and providing an English translation:


The Latest from Iran (21 December): The Montazeri Funeral
Latest Iran Video: Montazeri’s Criticism of Supreme Leader Khamenei (1997; redistributed October 2009)
Latest Iran Video: Demonstrations in Memory of Montazeri (20 December)
Iran Special LiveBlog: Ayatollah Montazeri Has Died

Anchorman: Mr. Montazeri, do you expect any obstacles for tomorrow's ceremonies?

Montazeri: We hope not, but because of our past experiences with these gentlemen [the regime] we expect obstacles, since they also had interfered in [other] ceremonies. But maybe these gentlemen have come to their minds by now and will show enough respect to let us carry out [the ceremonies]. Hopefully they won't make our lives harder.

Anchorman: What were your father's last words?

Montazeri: I was in Tehran and returned to my father's house at midnight. He asked if my "mission" was successful [apprently Saeed Montazeri had tried to meet families of political detainees and help them]. But I replied that unfortunately I couldn't help. My father was one of the few Marjas who really cared for these families and generally for the people and gave his heart and soul for them. Now my father passed away and is free from any sorrow.

Anchorman: What were your father's hopes? What was the view on the Green Movement and Iranian youth?

Montazeri [summarised]: His opinion was that people should stick together and solve their problems together.

Anchorman: Was your father under house arrest? And if so, how did the regime treat him? Did the regime's officials respect him and treat him well, compared to the first few years of his house arrest, or did they continue putting pressure on him?

Montazeri: It was a bit easier recently, but from what I know the gentlemen have ordered the press not to mention his death in the news. Only God knows if they will let us wash his dead body[?]. But as I said, I'm still hopeful that they came to their minds and that everything goes well the next few days, so that the society doesn't suffer anymore.

Anchorman: What was the reason for his death? What did the doctors say?

Montazeri: They said he had a heart attack while he was asleep. But I think one of the main reasons was his grief for the post-election events which troubled my father a lot.

Anchorman: Was there an extraordinary disciple [scholar] whom your father had chosen to replace him ?

Montazeri: No. Not officially. The people will chose whom they want to follow.

Anchorman: How was the relationship to [Mehdi] Karroubi, [Mir Hossein] Mousavi, and other leaders of the Green movement?

Montazeri: There was not a direct relationship but exchange of letters. But they also had common friends so they were in contact through messages they sent to each other. All in all, I can say that my father supported the leaders of the Green movement and prayed for them to succeed.

Anchorman: Mr. Montazeri, you father has often talked about the person of [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei and it's not a secret that he was very critical to him. Do you know about any speech were he was also critical of the system of velayat-e-faqih [ultimate clerical authority]?

Montazeri: He always had the same view about the system of velayat-e-faqih. Nothing has changed. A vali-e-faqih must be chosen by people's vote. He wanted the people to decide who is vali-e-faqih and who is not. The term of his rule must also be limited and if he doesn't behave in a proper way, he must be removed from office.

So you see that my father's view of the system of velayat-e-faqih is different from these gentlemen's [the regime's] conception. My father strongly opposed the life-long rule of one leader. My father always believed that you might have a republic where everyone lives under massive hardship and oppression, and you might have a monarchy where everyone lives under good conditions and in harmony. The names "republic", "system of velayat-e-faqih" or "monarchy" are only names and have nothing to do with the real circumstances of peoples' lives. People must chose what's good for them. The name of the system is not important as long people decide.

Anchorman: It is said that Ayatollah Montazeri strongly opposed the execution of leftists and MKO members during Imam Khomeini's rule. But it is also said that he cried a lot because of the destiny of these executed men. Did you witness his grief about the post-election events, when people were tortured at Kahrizak [Prison] and when people like Neda Agha Soltan died in the streets? What were your father's reactions?

Montazeri: Yes, my father suffered a lot. He was speechless and couldnT understand why certain people who sacrificed their hearts and souls for the revolution are now jailed. We joked with him and said that at least we are not jailed and wondered why he suffered that much for other peoples tragic destinies.

Anchorman: Did your father see Neda Agha Soltan's tragic death?

Montazeri: Yes, he was very up to date. He was one of the few Marjas who knew the daily news since we showed him satellite broadcasts and also the news in the Worldwide Web. He was very up-to-date and interested in the recent developments.

Anchorman: Mr. Montazeri, thank you for your time and again i want to offer you and your family my deepest condolences.

Montazeri: Thank you and God bless you.

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