Ayatollah Mohsen Kadivar, formerly a student of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, asks a series of questions to which the 87-year old cleric responds in unequivocal terms. The gist of his fatwa, made public on July 10, 2009, is that those rulers who breach their contract with the people must be removed from office. He does not refer to Leader Ali Khamenei, but there is no mistaking the target for his finding, which is translated by Tehran Bureau. The fatwa was first noted on Anonymous Iran and first reported by the NYT.
In this earlier post, from June 2009, I discuss the influence of Montazeri and his blunt critique of the flawed June 12 election. Montazeri's is arguably the most respected Shi'i cleric in Iran. In my experience, he retains a broad following among the educated middle class in Iran, despite the attempt of the state to stifle his influence and isolate him.
Montazeri's website, which includes sections in English and Arabic. [at 0400 GMT July 13, the website was down.]
On July 17th, according to PressTV, Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani will lead the Friday prayer at Tehran University. This is the first time he has done this in two months. Prior to the election, he wrote a letter to Khamenei warning that of dangers of election-rigging.