|Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri|
|Born||1922( 86 years)|
|Other names||حسین علی منتظری|
|Religious beliefs||Twelver Shi'a Islam|
Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri (Persian: حسین علی منتظری), styled His Honourable Eminence, (born in 1922), was one of the leaders of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Marja ( Arabic / Persian: مرجع also appearing as Marja Taqlid or Marja Dini ( Arabic / Persian: مرجع تقليد See also Shi'a Islam Twelver Shi'ism ( ar اثنا عشرية Ithnāˤashariyyah) is the largest branch of Shi'a branch of Islam Marja ( Arabic / Persian: مرجع also appearing as Marja Taqlid or Marja Dini ( Arabic / Persian: مرجع تقليد Year 1922 ( MCMXXII) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. The Iranian Revolution' (mostly known as the Islamic Revolution, Persian: انقلاب اسلامی Enghelābe Eslāmi was the Revolution that transformed For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. He is best known as the one-time designated successor to the revolution's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini who fell out with Khomeini in 1989 over government policies that Montazeri claimed infringed on freedom and denied people's rights. The post of Supreme Leader ( Persian: رهبر انقلاب Rahbare Enqelab, lit Seyyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini ( Persian:, pronounced muːsæviː-je xomejniː}}( September 24, 1902 – June 3 1989 He currently lives in the holy city of Qom, and remains politically influential in Iran, especially upon reformist politics.  Montazeri is a senior Islamic scholar and a grand marja (religious authority) of Islam.
Born in 1922, Montazeri is from a peasant family in Najafabad a city in Isfahan Province, 250 miles south of Tehran. Najafabad is a city in Isfahan Province, Iran. In 2006 it had an estimated population of 282430 (1991 pop His early theological edication was in Isfahan. He then went to Qom where he studied under Khomeini and went on to become a teacher at Faiziyeh Theological School there. While there he answered Khomeini's call to protest the White Revolution of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in June 1963 and was active in anti-Shah clerical circles. The White Revolution (انقلاب سفید Enghelāb-e Sefid) was a far-reaching series of reforms launched in 1963 by the last Shah of Iran Shah is an Iranian term for a Monarch (leader that has been adopted in many other languages 
After Khomeini was forced into exile by the Shah, Montazeri "sat at the center of the clerical network" Khomeini established to fight Pahlavi rule. He was sent to prison in 1974 and released in 1978 in time to be active during the revolution. 
Although Montazeri is now famous as an Islamic jurist who was made to pay for his liberal-leaning beliefs, during the revolution he was a strong supporter of Khomeini's idea of theocracy by velayat-e faqih. Islamic leadership|Ja'fari jurisprudence Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists ( Arabic: ولاية الفقيه, Persian: ولایت فقیه He is the author of Dirasat fi Vilayah al-Faqih, a scholarly book advocating rule by Islamic jurists under the principle velayat-e faqih. 
In 1979, following the overthrow of the Shah, he played a pivotal role in instituting Iran's theocracy. Theocracy is a form of government in which a god or deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler He was one of the leaders of the movement to replace the relatively democratic and secular draft constitution proposed for the Islamic Republic with one where Islamic jurists were dominant. He distributed "a detailed commentary and alternate draft" for Iran's new constitution. It included proposals to specify that Twelver Shi'ism -- and not Islam in general -- was the official religion of the state; for Islamic jurists to appoint judges, have the right of veto over all laws passed by parliament and all candidates for president; and to forbid women to serve as judges or governors and forbid gender equality in general. See also Shi'a Islam Twelver Shi'ism ( ar اثنا عشرية Ithnāˤashariyyah) is the largest branch of Shi'a branch of Islam  Later he served on the Assembly of Experts (Majles-e-Khobregan) that wrote the constitution and implemented many of his proposals. The Assembly of Experts (also Assembly of Experts of the Leadership) of Iran ( Persian: مجلس خبرگان رهبری Majles-e-Khobregan or The Constitution of the Islamic Republic 
During this time Montazeri also served as Friday prayer leader of Qom, as a member of the Revolutionary Council and as deputy to Supreme Leader Khomeini. The post of Supreme Leader ( Persian: رهبر انقلاب Rahbare Enqelab, lit Seyyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini ( Persian:, pronounced muːsæviː-je xomejniː}}( September 24, 1902 – June 3 1989 Khomeini began "to transfer some of his power" to Montazeri, in 1980. By 1983 "all government offices hung a small picture" of Montazeri next to that of Khomeini.
After Khomeini indicated he wished Montazeri to be his successor Montazeri initially rejected this idea insisting that the choice of successor be left to the Assembly of Experts Montazeri relented though and following a session of the Assembly of Experts that November, he was designated Khomeini's successor as Supreme Leader.
Some observers believe Khomeini chose him for this role solely because of his support for Khomeini's principle of theocratic rule by Islamic jurists. Theocracy by velayat-e faqih called for the most learned, or one of the most learned, Islamic jurists to rule, and of all those who might be considered a leading Islamic jurist only Montazeri supported theocracy. Islamic leadership|Ja'fari jurisprudence Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists ( Arabic: ولاية الفقيه, Persian: ولایت فقیه
As designated heir to Khomeini, Montazeri's troubles began with his association with Mehdi Hashemi who ran an organization out of Montazeri's office to export the Islamic revolution. Hojjat al-Islam Sayyed Mehdi Hashemi (died 28 September 1987) was an Iranian cleric and senior official in the Islamic Revolutionary Mehdi Hashemi is thought to have embarrassed Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani by leaking information of his connection with the Iran Contra affair. Hojjat al-Islam Sayyed Mehdi Hashemi (died 28 September 1987) was an Iranian cleric and senior official in the Islamic Revolutionary Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani ( Persian:اکبر هاشمی رفسنجانی Akbar Hāshemī Rafsanjānī) Hashemi Bahramani Subsequently Mehdi Hashemi was arrested, convicted and executed in 1987 on charges of counterrevolutionary activities. Hojjat al-Islam Sayyed Mehdi Hashemi (died 28 September 1987) was an Iranian cleric and senior official in the Islamic Revolutionary 
In November 1987 Montazeri created more controversy when he called for the legalization of political parties, though under strict regulation.  He followed this by calling for "an open assessment of failures" of the Revolution and an end to export of revolution, claiming Iran should inspire by example not train and arm allied groups.  Khomeini responded the next February by criticizing Montazeri and a month later called for a meeting of the Assembly of Experts to "discuss him. "
Things came to a head following the mass execution of thousands of Mojahedin and other political prisoners in late summer and early autumn 1988. 1988 executions of Iranian political prisoners (۱۳۶۷ اعدام زندانیان سیاسی در تابستان refers to the systematic execution of thousands of political prisoners Montazeri gave a series of lectures in which he indicated support for a "far more open" policy  and in an interview published in Keyhan in early 1989, criticized Khomeini in language that is said to have sealed "his political fate":
Still worse was the publication abroad and broadcast on BBC of his letters condemning post-war wave of executions in March.  Montazeri also criticized Khomeini's fatwa ordering the killing of author Salman Rushdie saying: "People in the world are getting the idea that our business in Iran is just murdering people. Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie Kt (born 19 June 1947 is an Indian - British novelist and essayist "
On March 26 1989 a furious Khomeini strongly denounced Montazeri's actions, and two days later announced that Montazeri had resigned his post.  Montazeri did not protest his loss, issuing a message concluding, "I ask all brothers and sister not to utter a word in my support. "
In addition to losing his position as designated heir, Montazeri's title of Grand Ayatollah was withdrawn, publication of his lecture in the Keyhan newspaper and reference to him on the state radio stopped, his portraits were collected from offices and mosques, and his security guards were withdrawn. "Articles and editorials appear in various newspapers aimed at dismantling" Montazeri's "impeccable" revolutionary credentials. "
Some have claimed that the amendment made to Iran's constitution removing the requirement that the Supreme Leader to be a Marja, was to deal with the problem of a lack of any remaining Grand Ayatollahs willing to accept "illimitable velayat-e faqih". The post of Supreme Leader ( Persian: رهبر انقلاب Rahbare Enqelab, lit Marja ( Arabic / Persian: مرجع also appearing as Marja Taqlid or Marja Dini ( Arabic / Persian: مرجع تقليد This article provides the list of marja taqlid (supreme legal authorities since 1900 both current and deceased followed by Usuli Twelver Shi'a Muslims Islamic leadership|Ja'fari jurisprudence Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists ( Arabic: ولاية الفقيه, Persian: ولایت فقیه However, others say the reason marjas were not elected was because of their lack of votes in the Assembly of Experts, for example Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Golpaygani had the backing of only 13 members of the assembly. The Assembly of Experts (also Assembly of Experts of the Leadership) of Iran ( Persian: مجلس خبرگان رهبری Majles-e-Khobregan or Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Golpaygani (1898-1993 was born in Gogad village near the city of Golpaygan, Iran. Furthermore, there were other marjas present who accepted "illimitable velayat-e faqih"
Khomeini died that June and another cleric, Seyed Ali Khamene'i, was selected by the Assembly of Experts to be the new Supreme Leader. Islamic leadership|Ja'fari jurisprudence Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists ( Arabic: ولاية الفقيه, Persian: ولایت فقیه Khamene'i had been only a mid-ranking Hojatoleslam before Montazeri's removal. Hojatoleslam (from Arabic حجة الإسلام hujjat-ul-islām) is an Honorific title meaning "authority on Islam " or "proof His promotion was sometimes silently and sometimes openly rejected by many Shi'a, including Montazeri.
In December 1989 Montazeri's supporters in Qom distributed "night letters" questioning Khamene'i's qualifications to be a Marja e Taqlid ("Source of Emulation"), or in other words, an Ayatollah. Marja ( Arabic / Persian: مرجع also appearing as Marja Taqlid or Marja Dini ( Arabic / Persian: مرجع تقليد Ayatollah ( Persian: آيتالله, âyato-llâh, from Arabic: آية الله, āyatu 'llāh, meaning 'the sign of In retaliation Revolutionary Guards "detained and humiliated" Montazeri, "forcing him to wear his nightcap rather than his white turban. The Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution ( Sepáh e Pásdárán e Enqeláb e Eslámi) is an ideologically motivated branch of the Islamic Republic of Iran's "
In October 1997, Ayatollah Montazeri was placed under house arrest, started with the excuse of protecting him from hardliners, after openly criticizing the authority of the Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Year 1997 ( MCMXCVII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1997 Gregorian calendar (fa علی حسینی خامنهای born 17 July 1939 also known as Ali Khamenei, is an Iranian Azeri politician and cleric This condition ended in 2003< after "more than 100 Iranian legislators" called on President Khatami to free Montazeri. Some thought that the government lifted the house arrest to avoid the possibility of a popular backlash from the ailing Montazeri dying while in custody. 
On January 22, 2007, Grand Ayatollah Montazeri criticized Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his nuclear and economic policies. The President of Iran is the highest elected official in the Islamic Republic of Iran, second only to the Supreme Leader. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (محمود احمدینژاد; born October 28, 1956) is the sixth and current President of the Islamic Republic of Iran While agreeing that nuclear energy is Iran's right, he criticized Ahmadinejad's aggressive approach to the issue, saying, "One has to deal with the enemy with wisdom, not provoke it, . . . his (provocation) only creates problems for the country. " Montazeri also asked, "Don't we have other rights too? [referring to other rights in particular freedom-related ones]" Montazeri also criticized Ahmadinejad's administration for economic problems, such as a 50% increase in housing costs, and for rising inflation, arguing that a country cannot be run on "slogans". 
Also (http://www.mideastyouth.com/2008/05/22/ayatollah-montazeri-proclaims-bahais-citizens-of-iran/) he wrote the following in support of the Baha'is of Iran: In the Name of the Most High With greetings, The congregation of Baha’ism not having the heavenly book like those of Jews, Christians, and Zoaretrians in the constitution [of Islamic republic of Iran], are not considered one of the religious minorities. However, since they are the citizens of this country, they have the right of citizenship and to live in this country. Furthermore, they must benefit from the Islamic compassion which is stressed in Quran and by the religious authorities. God-willing you will be successful, (Wal Salam–u Alaykum Warahmatullah) [Peace and Mercy of God be upon you] 25 Urdibehesht 1387 [14 May 2008] Signature: Montazeri [Seal]
Montazeri has been described by his allies as "brilliant," down-to-earth, unpretentious, plain spoken, and as one who "lives plainly, and equates Islam with social justice" and stays above political infighting. His detractors have portrayed him as stubborn and naive in his insistence that the Islamic republic find reconciliation with the "Hypocrites and Liberals" who are its "internal enemies. "