Iran Arrests Son of Shirazi Cleric After Calling Khamenei Pharaoh

Farsi sites reported that the Iranian authorities on Monday arrested Hussein al-Shirazi, the son of Sadiq al-Shirazi, the famous Shi’ite cleric in Qom, because of a lecture in which he described the Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei as “the pharaoh,” Al Arabiya reports.

The microphone news site published a copy of al-Shirazi’s arrest warrant, saying that the prosecutors of Qom’s clerics’ court had ordered that the speech is an open criticism of Iranian regime’s practices and the principle laws of the Faqih’s mandate. The authorities arrested him on Monday morning.

According to a clip posted on YouTube as part of a lecture by Hussein al-Shirazi, a few weeks ago, he compared the rule of the Faqih to the rule of Pharaoh, elaborating on the tyranny of the religious state in Iran and its oppressive methods against protesters, critics and dissidents.

Sources close to Shirazi confirmed that the IRGC intelligence services have been behind the summoning of Hussein al-Shirazi and other members of his family over the past years, with their continued humiliation and intimidation, because of the Shirazi family’s call for the independence from political power.

It is noteworthy that the Shirazi family has followers in Iran, Iraq and a number of other countries with a Shi’ite presence rejecting the mandate of the jurisprudent and the rule of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. However, they offer extremist ideas that fuel sectarianism in the region and are not different from the Iranian regime’s speech in terms of intellectual principles.

The Revolutionary Guard began to limit the growth of the Shirazis after Mohammed Shirazi supported the idea of the Shura Council of Jurists in place of the absolute rule of Faqih after Khomeini’s death. Al-Shirazi also opposes Khamenei’s fatwa against the prohibition of slashing heads with swords as performed by some during ‘Ashura’ ceremony. Following this, al-Shirazi was silenced, his influence was curtailed and he was under house arrest until his death in 2001.

The influence of the Shirazi family expanded after the Iranian revolution in 1979 when the authorities supported the Muhammed Shirazi Khomeini and the Shirazi-led “Labor Organization” led by Mohammad Taqi took the streets of Tehran and erected the gallows of the opponents of the revolution. They were then extended to the Iranian security services.

The Shirazians worked to expand the influence of the Iranian project in the Arab region by penetrating Shi’ite communities in the region and establishing sectarian political organizations and militias in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait under the guise of religious work and the expansion of Hussainiyat, where they attracted many supporters.

This is why many of the Shi’ite of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have not adopted the idea of the mandate of the Faqih because their leaders are mostly Shirazian, such as Nimr al-Nimr who was executed by Saudi Arabia after being convicted of terrorism in 2015.