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New audio file sheds light on 1980s executions in Iran

In a recently released audio file, Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri can be heard disagreeing with the executions that took place in Iran in the late 1980s.
Iranian dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri speaks with Reuters at his home in Qom, 120 km (75 miles) south of Tehran, May 19, 2005. Iran's Islamic system has been abused to deny the president real power, sapping public interest in next month's election, Montazeri told Reuters. Picture taken May 19, 2005. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl  MN/DY/TZ - RTRBTXJ
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An audio file recently released by the website of the late Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri — the onetime deputy supreme leader of Iran who was a leading Shiite cleric — has shed light on the cleric’s objections to a string of executions in the late 1980s and his eventual falling out with the ruling establishment.

In the final months of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988, the Iranian group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) launched an attack from inside Iraq against western Iran. While the attack was quickly countered, it led to perhaps the last fateful decision of the Islamic Republic under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini shortly before his death in which thousands of mostly MEK members who had been imprisoned in Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution were executed.

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