Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 12
By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:
Masked men set fire to the office of a prominent Shia cleric, Ayatollah Yousef Sanei, early in the morning of Nov. 11 in Iran's central province of Esfahan.
The attack took place at 3 a.m. (GMT +3:30 hours) local time and resulted in partial damage to the office, an opposition website affiliated with reformists Saham news reported on Nov. 11.
According to the report, the attackers wrote slogans on the office walls reading, "death to Monafiq [hypocrite]."
Ayatollah Sanei criticized the security forces' crackdown on 2009 post-election protests in Iran. He is known as a reformist cleric who has adopted a critical viewpoint of Iranian hardliners.
Back in 2009, following the presidential elections, opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi issued a statement calling for their supporters to protest against the outcome of the elections and accusing the former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's government of electoral fraud, stating that he won the election with help from the IRGC and Basij Civil Forces.
Karroubi and Mousavi, as well as Mousavi's spouse Zahra Rahnavard, are under house arrest, though they have never stood trial.
Earlier, Sanei's offices were sealed by police in the cities of Tabriz and Gorgan, while Iranian hardliners staged gatherings to protest against his views outside his offices in Tehran and Qom City.