Senior dissident cleric lashes out at Iran's Islamic establishment

Iran's most senior dissident cleric has lashed out Monday at the country's ruling Islamic establishment, accusing it of imposing dictatorship and violating the rights of its people in the name of Islam. The 1979 Islamic revolution toppled Iran's former monarchy to bring freedom and end despotism, but that supposed liberation never happened, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri said in comments released by his office. "People are insulted in the name of Islam. Individuals are accused of disloyalty to Islam in the name of Islam," Montazeri said. He added that "committed and serving individuals are barred" from running in elections "in the name of Islam" - comments referring to the barring of thousands of reformers from running in parliamentary elections last month. This was "neither free nor fair, Montazeri said.