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Iran: Montazeri To Be Released From House Arrest

Tehran, 27 January 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Iran's Supreme National Security Council today decided to lift the house arrest of dissident cleric Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri-Najafabadi. Iran's official IRNA news agency reported that the council's decree says Montazeri's house arrest will end tomorrow. The decision comes after President Mohammad Khatami received over 100 letters from parliamentarians expressing concern over Montazeri's health condition.

Montazeri was placed under house arrest in the central holy city of Qom five years ago after criticizing the religious credentials of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Also today, Tehran's top-selling "Hamshahri" newspaper was authorized to begin publishing again after a five-day suspension for not publishing responses to articles previously carried by the paper. Editors of the paper say it will restart publication tomorrow.