There are also stories that newspapers have been taken off printing presses to be altered. So far only Etelaat has a full obituary of Montazeri. so far.
Latest Iran Video: Montazeri’s Criticism of Supreme Leader Khamenei (October 2009)
Latest Iran Video: Demonstrations in Memory of Montazeri (20 December)
The Latest from Iran (20 December): Montazeri Death; Regime Scrambles for Legitimacy
1710 GMT: "Following the announcements made by a number of Grand Ayatollahs inviting public to mourn the departure of the great shia scholar and noble combatant, Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, in a joint statement Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi declared Monday to be a national mourning day and invited the grieving public to attend Grand Ayatollah Montazeri’s funeral which will be held (then)."
1650 GMT: Ahmad Qabel, a religious scholar and one of Montazeri's disciples of the late Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, has been arrested while en route to Qom from Mashhad. Qabel is an outspoken critic of the Supreme Leader. There is no information about Qabel's captors or where he is being held.
Meanwhile, some political activists and journalists are claiming that security agents on Sunday afternoon have threatened to arrest them if they participate in Montazeri's funeral.
1635 GMT: Both Mir Hossein Mousavi (text in Persian and English) and Mehdi Karroubi have published their condolences over the death of Montazeri.
1555 GMT: Enduring America's Mr Smith has some sharp observations on the messages of the Supreme Leader and Hashemi Rafsanjani (1540 and 1545 GMT):
The Leader's message is not really congratulatory: he was forced to act (after half a day's delay, compared to the senior theologians who went to Montazeri's house in Qom), and he refers to the incident that led to Montazeri's dismissal in 1989. He essentially states that Montazeri did Khomeini wrong on that issue and reserves judgement for God. Khamenei couldn't stay silent on the issue of his death, but his message is anything but congratulatory.
Same for Hashemi Rafsanjani: his message is terse and quite dry, as it was Rafsanjani himself who engineered Montazeri's dismissal. His condolences contain nothing about Montazeri's political activities, (which spanned some 50 years, and notes only his theologian qualities, saying that "the seminary system and Islamic society will miss his presence".
So, all in all, these two are messages who were forcibly spat out, rather than being heartfelt
1545 GMT: And now the message from the Supreme Leader....It refers to Montazeri's important role in the early years of the Islamic Republic:
[He was a] well-versed jurist and a prominent master....Many disciples have benefited greatly from him....Ayatollah Montazeri spent a long period of his life serving the late founder of the Islamic Revolution and made many efforts and suffered much hardship for advancing this cause.
However, Khamenei also mentions the incident that led to the cleric's dismissal in 1989.
1540 GMT: Hashemi Rafsanjani's condolence message for Montazeri is carefully framed, omitting any reference to the cleric's political activities and instead limiting itself to the religious sphere: "The seminary system and Islamic society will miss his presence."
1535 GMT: Both Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have confirmed that they will attend Montazeri's funeral tomorrow.
1525 GMT: Back from an appearance with Al Jazeera English on another topic to catch up with developments. Both Ayatollah Sane'i and former President Mohammad Khatami have issued public condolences.
1205 GMT: Pictures indicate that the city of Najafabad has shut down, with all shops closed, in memory of Montazeri.
1155 GMT: The regime seems to be almost panicked in its response to the news of Montazeri's death. EA sources report that initially the Ministry of Islamic Guidance and Culture ordered newspapers to ignore it. When this proved impossible, outlets like Raja News and Fars News insulted Montazeri by dropping his titles and emphasising his "support of positions against the Islamic system".
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting finally mentioned Montazeri's death in its 1 p.m. bulletin, belittling the cleric and using an interview with his physician to establish that Montazeri had died of natural causes.
1100 GMT: Reports that Montazeri's funeral will be Monday, 9 a.m. local time.
The pro-Government Raja News has announced the death of "Hossein Ali Montazeri" in a derogatory article, dropping any clerical title and denouncing Montazeri for working with and sheltering the "gang" of Mehdi Hashemi, the son of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani.
1030 GMT: Parleman News reports that Montazeri’s followers are moving --- from Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Najaf-Abad and other cities --- toward his home in the holy city of Qom to pay their respects. There are also gatherings in the homes of Grand Ayatollahs Mousavi-Ardebili, Shobeiri-Zanjani, Bayat-Zanjani, Sane'i, and Amini.
0800 GMT: Radio Farda has the Persian transcript and audio of Ayatollah Montazeri's last public statement, delivered on 11 December as he accepted a human rights award.
0730 GMT: Grand Ayatollah Montazeri's website is not available to confirm the news of his passing. The Associated Press posts, however, that his grandson has verified initial reports, and his son Ahmad has reportedly said the same to the Iranian Labor News Agency.
We awake this morning to the news, from the Iranian Students News Agency, that Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri has died.
Montazeri, 87, was one of the most prominent clerics in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In the 1980s he was the designated successor to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, until he was sidelined because of political and religious divisions and a falling-out with Khomeini. Ayatollah Khameini eventually became Supreme Leader. Montazeri was isolated and then placed under house arrest after clashes with Khamenei.
In recent months, Montazeri was one of the most vocal supporters of the opposition movement, going as far as to criticise the legimitacy of the Supreme Leader. For example, at the end of October, he refused to commemorate the birthday of Imam Reza, the 8th Shia Imam, as a protest:
Since many of our beloved scholars, those who are not only faithful individuals but also served this revolution and country passionately, are unfortunately in prison for false accusations; and to show solidarity and sympathy with the respected families of these loved ones, we did not hold a celebration today....During Shah’s time because many people were under oppression, Imam Khomeini announced not to hold the ceremony for the Birthday of the hidden Imam.
On 11 December, the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran named Montazeri as its Human Rights Activist of the Year. In his acceptance speech, Montazeri said, "None of those [aggressive actions by the Iranian Government] are legal."
As he became the most vocal high-ranking clerical critic of the Iranian Government after the 12 June election, Montazeri caught the attention of international media. In October, the BBC had an e-mail interview with Montazeri on Islam and the legitimacy of the Iranian Government and Islamic Republic. On 21 November, Michael Slackman of The New York Times published a profile, "Cleric Wields Religion to Challenge Iran’s Theocracy".