First, a few quick quotes from the Ayatollah’s statement:
“A legitimate state must respect all points of view. It may not oppress critical views. I fear that this will lead to the loss of people’s faith in Islam.”
“…a government not respecting the people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy.”
“I ask the police and army personnel not to “sell their religion”, and be aware that receiving orders will not excuse them before God.”
Ayatollah Montazeri’s letter (translation)
In the name of God
People of Iran
These last days, we have witnessed the lively efforts of you, brothers and sisters, old and young alike, from every social category, for the 10th presidential elections.
Our youth, hoping to see their rightful will fulfilled, came on the scene and waited patiently. This was the greatest occasion for the government’s officials to bond with their people.
However, unfortunately, they used it in the worst way possible. Declaring results that no one in their right mind can believe, and despite all the evidence of crafted results, and contrary to the people’s protestations, in front of the eyes of the same nation who carried the weight of a revolution and 8 years of war, in front of the eyes of local and foreign reporters, attacked the children of the people with astonishing violence. And now they are attempting a purge, arresting intellectuals, political opponents and Scientists.
Now, based on my religious duties, I will remind you:
1- A legitimate state must respect all points of view. It may not oppress critical views. I fear that this will lead to the loss of people’s faith in Islam.
2- Given the current circumstances, I expect the government to take all measures to restore people’s confidence. Otherwise, as I have already said, a government not respecting the people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy.
3- I invite everyone, especially the youth, to continue reclaiming their dues calmly, and not to allow those who want to associate this movement with chaos succeed.
4- I ask the police and army personnel not to “sell their religion”, and be aware that receiving orders will not excuse them before God. Recognize the protesting youth as your children. Today, censorship and cutting telecommunication lines can not hide the truth.
I pray for the greatness of the Iranian people.