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Ayatollah Montazeri: Occupying US embassy was a mistake!


Source: Radio Zamaneh

Ayatollah Montazeri

On the occasion of the anniversary of the occupation of the US embassy in Tehran, moderate cleric, Ayatollah Hoseinali Montazeri, revisited the event which he had approved of at the time, and claimed "considering the negative effects and heightened sensitivity" it produced amongst Americans, he believes it was a "mistaken" act.

The Shiite cleric added, taking over the embassy of a country that was not in "official war" with Iran was akin to "declaring war on that country." He claimed even "some of the revolutionary and committed youth, who were instrumental in that act at the time, now believe that it was a mistake."

Ayatollah Montazeri's statements were posted on his official website in response to questions asked by Green Wave of Freedom website.

Ayatollah Montazeri claimed that "if it is in our national interest to re-establish relations with the US, we should not provoke mistrust and agitations with baseless slogans."

Ayatollah Montazeri's views are in complete opposition to Iran's Supreme Leader who on Sunday adamantly condemned direct relations with the US and criticized the policies of Obama administration. He slammed Iran's current negotiations with world powers claiming the outcome of these negotiations have been pre-determined by the US.

Ayatollah Montazeri, on the contrary, claimed "Israel and its American lobby" are the fervent opponents of re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Iran and the US and believe the survival of the "current crisis" is in their interest.

Former US Embassy, Taleqani Ave, Tehran

The reformist cleric also condemned Iran's close ties to Russia saying: "What's the difference between Russia and the US that toward the first we should be so trusting as to give away exorbitant amounts of our nation's treasury but with the other, we should even refrain from negotiations and talks?"

Ayatollah Montazeri claimed the "oppression of people and the national crisis created by the presidential election" in Iran has "weakened the stance of the government" even in its international negotiations and inevitably "it will not serve the interests of the country or the people."

He encouraged the authorities to take a "bold and expedient" decision to release all political prisoners, reinstate all banned media and dismantle all forms of opinion policing in offices and universities."

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