Iran’s opposition has seized upon the death of one of the republic’s founding fathers, Grand Ayatolllah Hossein Ali Montazeri, to take to the streets in mourning. “Tens of thousands of Iranian mourners–many chanting protest slogans–joined the funeral procession Monday for Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who had described government crackdowns as the work of power-hungry despots. Iranian authorities have barred foreign media from covering the processions in the holy city of Qom for Ayatollah Montazeri, who died Sunday at age 87. But witnesses said many mourners shouted protest cries including ‘Death to the Dictator’ in displays of anger against Iran’s ruling establishment. There were no immediate reports of serious clashes from the witnesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of fears of arrest by Iranian authorities. Some opposition Web sites noted scuffles and violence, but the reports couldn’t immediately be confirmed.”
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