Thank you for signing up. Sorry, it looks like an error occurred. Thousands of mourners have attended the funeral of Iran's top dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, websites say, amid reports proceedings were violently disrupted by hardliners. Hundreds of thousands of mourners have attended the funeral of Iran's dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, websites say, amid reports proceedings were violently disrupted by hardliners. It said hundreds of hardline basij militia members and clerics also gathered near Montazeri's house and chanted slogans in favour of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and against the protesters.
Opposition supporters chanted anti-government slogans in Iran's holy city of Qom on Monday after the funeral of Ayatollah Montazeri. Mourners wearing green items, a symbol of the protests that followed last June's presidential election, chanted slogans similar to those used in the post-ballot demonstrations. There were clashes between hardline pro-government vigilantes and mourners, reports said. They went away after clashing with some people," Rahesabz website reported. Ayatollah Montazeri, once an ally of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who led the Islamic Revolution, was designated to succeed him as Supreme Leader before the two fell out over the execution of opposition members shortly before Khomeini died in In September, authorities arrested three grandsons of Montazeri after he urged the clergy to speak out against Iran's leadership and the crackdown that followed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election. The opposition alleged that the June election was marred by fraud, a charge that Ahmadinejad denied.
Some in the funeral procession held aloft the green banners of the opposition movement, while others chanted anti-government slogans. Security forces were present along the route, and there are reports of isolated fighting between some of the police and protesters. The crowds came from across Iran to the holy city of Qom to attend the burial of Ayatollah Montazeri. Iranian authorities banned foreign media coverage of the event.
Sunday, December 20, Montazeri had been a key leader in the Iranian revolution and at one time was expected to succeed Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as the Supreme Leader of Iran, until he fell out with Khomeini. In Montazeri had advocated for the legalisation of political parties. He had also criticsed the post-revolution regime for its brutality and the mass execution of political prisoners in After the disputed Iranian presidential election , Montazeri supported the opposition and declared the result of the election fraudulent.