Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri
Added under Obituary
(1922–19 December 2009) was a prominent Iranian Islamic theologian, Islamic democracy advocate, writer and human rights activist. He was one of the leaders of the Iranian Revolution in 1979. He was best known as the one-time designated successor to the revolution's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, with whom he had a falling out in 1989 over government policies that Montazeri said infringed on freedom and denied people's rights. Montazeri lived later years of his life in the holy city of Qom, and remained politically influential in Iran, especially upon reformist politics. He was a senior Islamic scholar and a Grand Marja (religious authority) of Shi'ite Islam.
For almost three decades, Hossein Ali Montazeri had been one of the main critics of the Islamic Republic's domestic and foreign policy. He had also been an active advocate of civil rights and women's rights in Iran. Montazeri was a prolific writer and authored a number of books and articles. Montazeri argued that Iran was not an Islamic state of which he was a staunch proponent.
Immediately after his death, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei released a statement to express his condolences for the "knowledgeable Islamic jurisprudent".