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More Senior Iranian Clerics Lambaste Government


Iranian politician, Mostafa Tajzadeh, who has been arrested twice since the 2009 disputed election and has currently been in jail since mid-August. Clerics are critiquing the Iranian government for arrests and inhumane treatment in prison.

Iranian politician, Mostafa Tajzadeh, who has been arrested twice since the 2009 disputed election and has currently been in jail since mid-August. Clerics are critiquing the Iranian government for arrests and inhumane treatment in prison.

Three more senior Iranian clerics have come out with criticisms of government policy, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Ayatollah Ali Mohammad Dastgheyb, a member of the Assembly of Experts, said during a meeting on December 28 with the family of jailed reformist politician Mostafa Tajzadeh the current regime is neither a republic nor Islamic, according to the opposition Kaleme website.

Referring to the ongoing crackdown, Dastgheyb said none of the sources of emulation approves of what is currently happening in Iran, which he said violates "the Koran, Sunnah [words and actions of the Prophet Muhammad], and [the country's] constitution."

Ayatollah Yusef Sanei, a senior reformist cleric in Qom, said placing prisoners in solitary confinement for a long time and violating their rights is against Shari'a law.

And on December 27, Ayatollah Vahid Khorasani, a source of emulation in Qom, said the confession of a person who is in prison has no validity, and a judge who issues a sentence merely based on such a confession is not qualified to judge.

Paris-based religious scholar Mohammad Javad Akbarin told Radio Farda that Khorasani's statement is not an expression of a political position, but a reminder to the establishment that it is ignoring Shari'a law.

"Although the Islamic republic regime claims that it implements Shari'a law, its judicial system is acting otherwise," Akbarin said. That is why Khorasani's statement, which is nothing new, just an undeniable tenet of Shari'a, is so noteworthy for us, he added.

The influential hard-line newspaper "Kayhan" recently harshly criticized senior clerics who have visited political prisoners' families, calling such acts "all grist to the enemy's mill."

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