Letter from Ayatollah Azari-Qomi to President Khatami

The late Ayatollah Azari-Qomi had lately expressed serious remorse and contrition about his previous positions, and in a thorough letter that was written on 5/8/1376 [10/27/1997] to the honorable Mr. Khatami, said the following:

“… but the Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom Seminary [Jame’eh-ye Modaressin-e Howze-ye ‘Elmieh-ye Ghom] that had introduced his Excellency [Mr. Khamenei] as one of the Seven Sources of Emulation [Maraje’e Saba’eh] was also not acting in accordance with their legal and Sharia-based duties, because they introduced him [as a Source of Emulation] with a telephone vote and an unfit environment, where some of those called later denied it, because the criteria for being a Source of Emulation are two things, neither of which exists in the case of his Excellency (Mr. Khamenei)…  The Society of Seminary Teachers voted to endorse his Excellency as a Source of Emulation only for the expediency of the system, whereas considering expediency in this life-or-death issue was not – and is not – correct… But the recent slogan of “both a Source and a Leader” was heard from those at Intelligence [forces], and some of them, on the day of the vote of the Society of Seminary Teachers, in order to pressure the Society – which unfortunately was mirrored by the propaganda inside the meeting from Mr. Yazdi and Mr. Janati, and another person – inflicted its bitter blow to the holy Islamic Revolution.  In the middle of all this, inattentiveness by me –that Sharia credentials must be granted to the Leader – struck an effective blow, for which there must be repentance and eradication of this inappropriate fatwa.

In this same letter, he protests the night-time raid on the house of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri:

“Why has the Supreme Leader placed the position of the Sources of Emulation – specially the honorable Grand Ayatollah Montazeri – in the hands of a bunch of kids from Intelligence [forces] who, during the night, attempt an incursion on the sanctuary of the Source of Emulation and plunder its archives and other objects, and take advisors and generous individuals with blindfolds and insults away to prison…That day, not a single person from the Society of Seminary Teachers took a step or said a word in defending and supporting his Excellency, and I also said nothing, but today, I am ashamed in front of my God and Prophet, and apologize.”

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