'Militiamen' attacks senior cleric's home in Iran: Norooz

Militiamen and "plainclothes men" attacked the home of a senior pro-reform cleric, Grand Ayatollah Yusuf Sanei, a reformist website said.

'Militiamen' attacks senior cleric's home in Iran: Norooz

Militiamen and "plainclothes men" attacked the home of a senior pro-reform cleric, Grand Ayatollah Yusuf Sanei, in the holy Shi'ite city of Qom on Tuesday, a reformist website said.

The Norooz site said attackers insulted Sanei, beat up some of his associates and broke windows. There was no immediate official comment.

The reported incident took place a day after huge crowds turned out in Qom for the funeral of Iran's leading dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, websites said.

Earlier on Tuesday, the semi-official Fars News Agency said pro-government theology students had staged a rally in Qom to protest "the insult against sanctities" during Montazeri's funeral procession.

The demonstration ended outside Sanei's home, Fars said, but it was not clear whether it was linked to the attack on Sanei's house reported by Norooz.

The demonstrators chanted "the city of Qom is no city for hypocrites" and signed a statement calling for "measures toward the defrocking of Yusuf Sanei's religious authority," Fars said.

One of the signatories, cleric Ahmad Panahian, said: "The trenches of the hypocrites in Qom must be destroyed".

Separately, the reformist Jaras website quoted Montazeri's son, Ahmad Montazeri, as saying traditional memorial services held on the third and seventh day of mourning for the cleric will not take place due to security considerations.

After Monday's funeral, one Iranian website, Ayande, said Montazeri opponents stopped his memorial service in a mosque.

Montazeri, who died during Saturday night aged 87, was an architect of the 1979 revolution that overthrew the U.S.-backed shah and was once named to succeed Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as supreme leader of the Islamic state.

An outspoken critic of Khamenei, Khomeini's successor as supreme leader, Montazeri was viewed as the spiritual patron of the pro-reform opposition movement that led the big protests following disputed presidential elections in June.

Reuters
Last Mod: 22 Aralık 2009, 20:42
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