How Hezbollah Founder Fell Foul of Iranian Regime

At home, exporter of Islamic revolution was dedicated reformer – and that was his undoing.

As Iran’s top man sponsoring Islamic groups abroad like Hezbollah and Hamas, Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour looks like a man who should be close to the current regime’s heart.

Not a bit of it. Although a staunch supporter of exporting the Islamic revolution, Mohtashamipour’s political sympathies at home have for years lain with the opposition. In the June 2009 presidential ballot, he ran an election monitoring body to try to ensure opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi was not cheated of votes.

This seemed to be the last straw for the regime, which paid him back in April 2010 by dismissing him from his post as secretary-general of Iran’s Committee for the Support of the Intifada, which operates under parliamentary supervision.

Although the motive may have been political, Mohtashamipour's dismissal also reflected the growing divergence between those like him who support Hezbollah and Hamas out of ideological principle, and other establishment figures who see such groups merely as pawns in the bigger game of advancing Iran’s interests abroad.


Mohtashampour’s role in shaping the Iranian position on Israel and the Palestinians goes back to the early days of the 1979 revolution.

A trusted confident of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Mohtashamipour worked with him in exile in Iraq and later Fran... >>>

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