Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi : biography
Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi ( born 31 January 1934) is a hardline Iranian Twelver Shi'i cleric. He is also a member of Iran's Assembly of Experts, the body responsible for choosing the Supreme Leader, where he heads a minority ultraconservative faction. He has been called "the most conservative" and the most "powerful" and "influential ... clerical oligarch" in Iran's leading center of religious learning, the city of Qom.Nasr, Vali The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p.216
Mesbah Yazdi advocates Islamic philosophy and in particular Sadra Mutahillin's Transcendent School of Philosophy (Hikmat-e Muta`aliya). He believes Iran has strayed from the values of the 1979 Iranian revolution and strongly opposes democratic rule and the Iranian reform movement.
Mesbah Yazdi has been described as "a theoretician of the radicals" in Iran, "extremely hostile towards the West" and "the first senior figure" in Iran to have "publicly endorsed a military nuclear programme." Roy, The Politics of Chaos in the Middle East, (2008), p.132 He advocates suicide bombings, the killing of "any person who insults Islam," and the carrying out of the fatwa to kill author Salman Rushdie. He considers "the Zionists" to be the fundamental source of evil on earth. accessed 15-July-2009
In an article by the Associated Press, quoting from an 2005 book written by Yazdi, the AP asserted that Yazdi made a "rare public call for the producing the 'special weapons' that are monopoly of a few nations -- a veiled reference to nuclear arms."
In a lecture posted on his website, Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi warns of Muslim of the "thugs of falsehood and the followers of the damned Satan" who have formed a
coalition of the forces of infidelity and hypocrisy, the servants of dollars and euros/gold and silver, and influential oppressors and traitors to uproot Islam, to fight Muslims, to dominate their countries, wealth, and resources, to deny their glories and excellence, to destroy their relics and teachings, to wipe out their culture, to alter their identity, to put them in miserable conditions, and to force them into wretchedness in this world and God’s punishment in the hereafter. Click on "speeches", then "lesctures". "Towards a Comprehensive Defense of Islam and Islamic Culture." Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Mesbah
Mesbah-Yazdi supports a return to what he sees as the values of the 1979 Iranian revolution. He believes an "Islamic republic" is a contradiction in terms, as a truly Islamic government would not hold elections as an opportunity for voters to make choices between representatives and policies, but to express their allegiance to the supreme faqih. He believes that "the republican component" was established in Iran as a concession to secular forces and should be "stripped" away to leave the true essence of the "Islamic system." accessed 14-July-2009 He has been quoted as saying, "It doesn't matter what the people think. The people are ignorant sheep."Molavi, Afshin The Soul of Iran Norton, (2005), p.105
Mesbah-Yazdi is also a firm opponent of the Reformist movement in Iran which he believes an Islamic government must "combat ... because injecting misleading ideas [of reform] is like injecting the Aids virus!". He also claims that young Iranians who questioned the regime after studying abroad did so only because they had been trained in 'psychological warfare' by foreign universities. President Khatami once called him the theoretician of violence.
In 2005 he issued a fatwa urging Iranians to vote for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a former student and "protege", whom he is "considered a ideological and spiritual mentor" of, and with whom he reportedly meets with weekly. Following Ahmadinejad's election Mesbah Yazdi declared that Iran now had its first true Islamic government and there was no need for any more elections, which were incompatible with theocracy.
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