Iranians Mourn Passing of Dissident Cleric

BY Larisa Epatko  December 21, 2009 at 5:30 PM EST

Iranians amassed in Qom on Monday to mourn the loss of dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, considered the spiritual voice of the opposition movement.

Montazeri had declared the re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June as fraudulent and was a vocal critic of the ruling cleric establishment, according to a Reuters profile.

The funeral turned into an anti-government rally with Iranians chanting: “Our shame, our shame, our idiot leader!” and “Dictator, this is your last message: the people of Iran are rising!”, reported the New York Times.

Tonight, the NewsHour airs a report on the pros and cons of the opposition movement. Watch an extended version of Margaret Warner’s interview with a former Revolutionary Guard member who now runs a dissident message board from his home in Northern Virginia: