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Ayatollah Holds Khamenei Responsible for Killings in Iran

Iranian cleric Ayatollah Mahmoud Amjad

Ayatollah Mahmoud Amjad member of the seminary in Qom, , warned on his Instagram page on Monday, January 4, that he intends to rise against the "corrupt" seminary and "the ungodly turbaned heads who have no conscience."

In a copy of his handwritten text published on Instagram, Ayatollah Amjad shared, "Backed by God's blessing and divine power, and following Prophet Muhammad's footsteps; I have decided to launch a 'great jihad' to seek justice and reject illegitimacy, in a crystal-clear and transparent manner."

The note also states that he would persevere regardless of the consequences of his "rebellion."

A student of the Islamic Republic's founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Amjad reiterated that "I will revolt against this corrupt seminary and ungodly turbaned heads, come what may."

Amjad previously supported Ruhollah Zam, the managing director of dissident website AMAD News, calling him a victim of oppression in an unprecedented video message.

Iranian intelligence agents lured Zam, the Paris-based AMAD News administrator, to Iraq, where they abducted him, took him back to Iran and hanged him on December 12, 2020.

Amjad insisted in his video message that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is personally responsible for "all killings" in Iran since 2009.

"Mr. Khamenei must give up on his tyranny. All the blood that has been spilled and all the people who have been killed since [widespread uprising against the official outcome of the presidential election in] 2009 – Mr. Khamenei, you are responsible! I hope that it is God's plan for you to repent. You know that we do not wish ill upon anyone – rather, we want what is best for all," Amjad said in his video message.

Amjad went further, calling for a change in the Iranian Constitution and blaming the clergy for their silence. "This country is full of crimes, and those who remain silent have no excuse. What are you afraid of? Nobody can kill you, be sure. And if they kill you, so they kill you – is your blood worth more than the blood of Imam Hussein?"

Firing back at Amjad's vitriolic message, the managing-director of the state-controlled Twelver-Shi'ite seminaries, mid-ranking white-turbaned clergy, Alireza A'rafi, accused him of "stupidity," naivete," and being "ostentatious."

Amjad, formerly the Friday Prayer Imam in Nahavand and Khomeini's representative in Iran's district seven, is a renowned cleric whose sermons at Tehran's Imamzadeh Saleh attracted hundreds of audiences.

Following Iranian security forces' attack on the University of Tehran's dormitory in July 1999, and especially after the controversial 2009 presidential election and the bloody repression of protesters, Amjad's critical views became more apparent. Amjad was also one of the prominent candidates disqualified in the Assembly of Experts elections in 2015.