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Nov 27, 7:59 AM EST

Iran sentences son of dissident cleric to 6 years in prison

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iranian semi-official Tasnim news agency is reporting that the son of late dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri has been defrocked and sentenced to six years in prison.

The Sunday report says Iran's Special Clerical Court sentenced Ahmad Montazeri to six years in prison for publishing a tape recording carrying the voice of his father condemning the execution of thousands of prisoners at the end of the country's 1988 war with Iraq.

According to Tasnim, the verdict was announced Sunday and is appealable within a 20 day period.

For years, Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who died in 2009, had accused the country's ruling Islamic establishment of imposing a dictatorship in the name of Islam, and persisted with his criticism after the disputed presidential election in June of that year.

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