In an extraordinary development, MEMRI reports that Ayatollah Montazeri, who has been a major critic of the Khomeinist regime, in effect called for a mass uprising to begin tomorrow, Qods Day, when mass demonstrations are put on by the regime. The question is whether Montazeri's call for other clerics to preach against the regime tomorrow will bring out gigantic protest crowds. The regime cannot stop the annual Qods Day demonstrations without losing face.
According to MEMRI's translation from Persian,
"In his message, Ayatollah Montazeri came out against the regime, which he said had shed the blood of innocent civilians while committing human rights violations. Throughout history, he wrote, Iran's senior clerics had come out against the injustices and oppression of tyrannical regimes in Iran, and took pride in always standing up against them and defending the law and the rights of the people. ...
Montazeri called on the clerics to declare out loud that they oppose the regime. He said that instead of representing the voice of the people, the regime had brought about a most terrible situation of violence against defenseless men and women and of oppression, to the point of causing their shehada (deaths), in some cases in prison. ...
He concluded by saying that the Iranian people is asking why the clerics are not coming out against the oppression and the injustice. ... The regime, Montazeri told the clerics, is exploiting you, and your silence makes you its collaborators. "
Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. Qods Day demonstrations are virtually certain to take place, bringing out hundreds of thousands of people. The regime's brutal police and enforcers may be outnumbered. This may just be the beginning of the end for Ahmadinejad and his boss, Khamenei.
What the international consequences will be is anybody's guess, but it is hard to find anything worse than the present regime.