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Intrigue surrounds arrest, release of Iranian dissident cleric’s son

The arrest and release of Ahmad Montazeri, the son of Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, sheds light on behind-the-scenes maneuvering by clerics in Iran.

Hojat al-Islam Ahmad Montazeri, the son of late Iranian dissident cleric Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, was released March 4 from prison, reportedly after the intervention of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The story of Montazeri’s sentencing by the Special Court of Clergy and subsequent suspension of it days later is full of intrigue allegedly involving a rising and powerful conservative candidate in the upcoming presidential election.

In August 2016, Montazeri released an audio file of his late father imploring judicial officials not to execute some prisoners, most of whom belonged to the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK). The recording was made in the late 1980s at a time when Ayatollah Montazeri was deputy supreme leader. His opposition to the executions, which eventually took place, resulted in his losing that position.

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