A group of seminary students and teachers have said that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's ‘Guardianship’ is no longer valid considering the numerous atrocities and crimes committed under his rule.
According to a statement released to media on Friday, by some members of seminaries in Qom, Mashhad and Tehran, Khamenei is not considered a ‘mujtahid’, using an Islamic legal term which means he does not have the required expertise in the Arabic language, theology, revealed texts, and principles of Sharia jurisprudence. They added that he cannot be a "source of emulation" or "religious reference".
"As people who have spent their lives studying religion, we firmly and with full knowledge state that in this so-called Islamic government, none of the influential officials and authorities are mujtahids,” read the statement, which bears no name of signatories.
Using Islamic or jurisprudential argumentation, they said his rule is illegitimate due to his numerous documented crimes and faults.
They added that a letter was sent to the seminaries by the office of Khamenei in the city of Qom, led by his son Mojtaba, warning the senior clerics not to express support for the ongoing protests.
There are reports that Khamenei has also forced the seminaries to give his son, reportedly being groomed to succeed his father as Supreme Leader,the title of “Ayatollah,” an honorific title for high-ranking Shia clergy.
In a speech to military commanders on September 21, Khamenei did not mention ongoing proteststhat can pose a serious challenge to his rule.