Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jun. 16 A senior Iranian ayatollah died on Saturday, state media reported. Iran Focus
Tehran, Iran, Jun. 16 A senior Iranian ayatollah died on Saturday, state media reported.
Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Fazel Movahedi-Lankarani died earlier today at the age of 76.
As a Grand Ayatollah, Fazel Lankarani was one of the highest ranking clerics in the country.
Lankarani was based in the holy city of Qom.
Over the past 28 years since the Islamic Revolution, he became a powerful figure in the clerical establishment and was appointed to the Assembly of Experts, an 86-member exclusively clerical body entrusted with the task of selecting the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
Critics charge that he was one of many senior ayatollahs to personally take part in the execution of political opponents of the regime.
Lankarani had issued numerous fatwas, or religious edicts, urging the Islamic faithful to kill those who spoke out against the concept of velayat-e faqih, or rule of the religious jurisprudent. In 1998, several senior ayatollahs including Lankarani issued a fatwa reiterating that it was the duty of all Muslims to kill British author Salman Rushdie for writing the book The Satanic Verses.