Montazeri, Hossein Ali

Montazeri, Hossein Ali, 1922–2009, Iranian Islamic scholar and political leader. A follower of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Montazeri objected to Khomeini's arrest and exile, and became involved in the opposition Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlevi, which led to his arrest and imprisonment (1974–78). One of the leaders of the 1979 revolution that deposed the shah, Montazeri helped draft the new constitution and in 1985 was designated as Khomeini's successor as supreme leader. His sympathy for liberation movements and support for human rights, including opposition to the mass execution of political prisoners and the growing power of Islamic jurists over elected officals, led to a break with Khomeini and others in the government. Montazeri became a critic of Iran's theocratic government and the effective spiritual leader of Iran's reform movement; under Khomeini's successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, he was placed under house arrest (1997–2003).

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