Following Montazeri's speech last week against Khamenei and widespread opposition among the clerics to the principle of velayat-e faqih, Khamenei's faction announced a public holiday today in Holy city of Qom and staged a state-sponsored demonstration.
Pro-Khamenei demonstrators chanted "death to Montazeri," "Montazeri must be executed," and "death to the opponents of velayat-e faqih." A number of the demonstrators attacked and rampaged through Montazeri's teaching quarters.
Despite the closure of all offices and schools, the regime could mobilize only a limited number of people for today's rally in Qom, a city with a population of one million.
Khomeini's heir apparent, Montazeri was ousted by his mentor in Spring 1989 for having protested the massacre of Mojahedin political prisoners. Following the execution of 15,000 Mojahedin prisoners in Summer 1988, Montazeri wrote several letters to Khomeini and the regime's judicial officials objecting to the executions: "The People's Mojahedin are not individuals; they are an ideology, and a world outlook. They have a logic. It takes right logic to answer wrong logic. You cannot solve the problem with killings; it will spread," he wrote in one of the letters.
Simultaneously, the mullahs' Ministry of Intelligence has launched extensive arrests in Qom, Tehran and other cities among the followers of Montazeri, and opponents of the principle of velayat-e faqih.
Javadi-Amoli, a pro-Khamenei cleric, declared in today's demonstration in Qom that "those who undermine the velayat-e faqih... must be punished as cultural pirates."
In another development, last night, Khatami, the mullahs' president, took part in a joint session of the cabinet and the Majlis (parliament). He praised and endorsed Khamenei. In the mean time, the Guards Corps and agents of the Ministry of Intelligence attacked and disrupted the meetings in Tehran's universities held by the leaders of rival factions such as Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, Abdol-Karim Soroosh and Habibollah Payman.
Mr. Rajavi added: These developments clearly demonstrate that the velayat-e faqih regime has no capacity for reform and Khatami who shares responsibility in all of the mullahs' atrocities in the last 18 years, has neither the power nor the interest to bring about any change in this religious, terrorist dictatorship.
Referring to the uprising by the people of west Tehran in recent days, the NCR President said: The successive uprisings and protests by the people in various cities and regions around the country, display the Iranian people's utter disdain for all of the regime's factions and their determination to overthrow the clerical regime in its entirety and establish democracy and popular sovereignty in Iran.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
November 19, 1997