Grand Ayatollah Ahmad Azari-Qomi-Bigdeli was an Iranian cleric. Born in 1925 in Qom, after the 1979 Iranian Revolution he served on the Special Clerical Court, and Assembly of Experts, founded the conservative Resalat Newspaper. He was arrested in November 1997 after an open letter by him was published in Britain criticizing Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for allowing torture and "moral corruption" among officials and clerics. Shortly after Khamenei denounced him in a televised speech for allegedly committing "treason against the people, the revolution and the country." His renewed candidacy for the Assembly of Experts was rejected by the Guardian Council the next year and he died in 1999.Background and career
Azari was born to a family of Sh'ia clerics in Qom in 1925.Azari started his studies at Qom in 1941 under Ayatollahs Borujerdi, Mohaqqeq-Damad and Tabatabai. Upon finishing his clerical studies, he emigrated to Tabriz in northwest Iran to work as a
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