Want to shed a tear of optimism? From the presidential campaign of Iranian reformer Mehdi Karroubi:
While Karroubi was a rival to lead opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, his campaign appears to share in the general exuberance and hope of a reform movement that appeals to Iran’s youth.
Over at 0×6675636B, an Iranian expat has posted a translated version of Ayatollah Montazeri’s letter criticizing the Iranian elections and government crackdown. The full translation is below.
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.”
McClatchy News is reporting that one of Iran’s most senior clerics, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, has called the election rigged. He has also criticized the government crackdown on Mousavi supporters. Montazeri himself was a leader of the 1979 revolution and a one-time rival to the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for the nation’s top position.
And yes, he has his own website. Got Farsi?
Iran’s senior ayatollah slams election, confirming split
Tue, Jun. 16, 2009
By Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay
TEHRAN, Iran — Supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his main rival in the disputed presidential election, Mir Hossein Mousavi, massed in competing rallies Tuesday as the country’s most senior Islamic cleric threw his weight behind opposition charges that Ahmadinejad’s re-election was rigged.
“No one in their right mind can believe” the official results from Friday’s contest, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri said of the landslide victory claimed by Ahmadinejad. Continue reading
It is worth noting what the Iranian presidency doesn’t directly control — the military, the media, and the justice system.
If you want even more detail, check out the BBC’s interactive flow chart.