Teheran jails son of top revolutionary ayatollah over execution tape

Special to WorldTribune.com

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

A court in Iran has sentenced the son of one of Iran’s founding revolutionaries to six years in prison for releasing a decades-old tape in which his father denounced the mass execution of prisoners in 1988.

Ahmad Montazeri.
Ahmad Montazeri.

Media in Iran reported that a clerical court in the city of Qom on November 27 convicted Ahmad Montazeri of charges of “acting against national security” and “releasing a classified audio file.” The court initially sentenced Montazeri to 10 years on each of the charges, plus one additional year for abetting “antiregime propaganda.”

But it reduced the sentence to six years in view of his lack of previous convictions and the fact that his brother was killed in an attack by a Marxist group that Tehran views as a “terrorist organization.”

Montazeri, a 60-year-old Islamic cleric, is the son of Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who for decades was the right-hand man to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the father of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. Hossein Montazeri died in 2009.

In August, Ahmad Montazeri released a 40-minute recording of his father from 1988, arguing with leading members of the judiciary about the executions.

According to Amnesty International, Iranian officials executed some 5,000 political dissidents at the end of the country’s 1988 war with Iraq. Montazeri was one of the few Iranian leaders to speak out against Khomeini’s order to execute the prisoners.