Source: Ayatollah Montazeri’s Website
Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Honorable Grand Ayatollah Montazeri:
As you are aware, Iranians introduced valid demands before the election in order to achieve greater [nationwide] political, economic and social standing. And, to realize these aspirations, the nation participated in the election with undeniable passion and vigor. However, the authorities subsequently altered the election results, which resulted in the conditions we are witnessing today.
The “green movement,” in its quest to demand a restoration of social rights, was able to represent the desires of the majority of the Iranian public after the election. For these demands, its followers have suffered imprisonment and horrendous medieval tortures. In addition, it is clear that the movement is attempting to reach its ideals – the martyrs, through their persistence on non-violent [protest], have set an example. With God’s blessing, this movement has spread throughout the country. So, along this route, people are seeking answers to the different questions that have formed in their minds.
We ask that you show your support and guidance for this oppressed nation and that you promote the movement with your replies.
In your opinion:
1. What are the recent achievements of Iran’s “green movement”?
2. Which factors hinder the development and spread of the people’s green movement?
3. What are the best ways to strengthen and protect the movement?
4. What suggestions do you have for promoting the movement?
Grand Ayatollah Montazeri’s response:
In the name of God, the Merciful and the Compassionate,
Never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls) — Qur’an: Surah 13-11 
With greetings and gratitude for your attention to the current shaping of events in this country:
1) This movement is the accurate reflection and representation of the justified demands of the majority that have surfaced over many years. While it has faced a violent reaction and vehement hostility from the hardliner faction of the state, its domestic and foreign achievements are undeniable. Inside Iran, this movement has succeeded in institutionalizing a tolerant culture for demanding the rights of a large number of people, which were ignored during the election [process] and the events that followed. In addition, this movement has also prevailed in exposing the violent nature of the radical and the oppressive. Of course, to achieve this, it has paid a high price, which shows that the people will not be swayed until they attain the rights they are entitled to. Death, intimidation, threats, detainments, arrests, illegal and non-religious trials, heavy and unjust convictions for political activists and freedom seekers, as well as false and misleading propaganda – none of this has influenced the people’s will and determination. Outside Iran, the movement has succeeded in drawing international attention – especially that of developed societies and human rights organizations – to the oppression it faces as well as its rightful demands. From a political [perspective], [the movement] has presented the real power of nationhood to the world.
2, 3) One of the factors that may constrain the development of this admirable people’s movement is a collection of deviant slogans that contain the tone of complete structural overthrow and any other inappropriate retort, which provide the hardliners with an excuse to respond with violence. A movement that has legitimate and rational demands should voice them rationally and non-violently. [The movement] must not be tempted to react to violence and suppression with violence of its own, or produce slogans that would ultimately satisfy the needs of the radicals in power. It is even possible that such slogans and violent reactions are initiated by mercenaries [of radicals] to deviate the movement from its original path – just like the numerous occasions when people have witnessed their agents vandalizing both private and public property.
Another such factor is the expectation of a quick and early victory. The movement should not become impatient and hasty. Patience with hardship during the struggle to revive [civil] rights in the path of righteousness and encouraging virtue and discouraging vice is an important religious teaching, emphasized in the Qur’an and the Hadith.
The third factor that can severely harm the movement is difference of opinion. Trusted, prominent figures can mitigate the risk of such damage by clarifying the religious and legitimate demands of the people and by collaborating amongst themselves. This would, in turn, empower people’s movement and keep it safe.
4) Needless to say, those who struggle to revive the rights of the people are, in fact, realizing their national and religious duties of encouraging virtue and discouraging vice. These individuals should themselves be an example of adherence to the virtue and truth that they encourage and, likewise, of the abstinence from the vice that they discourage. They should remain within the bounds of religious and ethical guidelines so that their actions are met with God’s satisfaction and function to the benefit of his subjects.
Finally, with good intentions, I will remind the government yet again: The path that the authorities have taken will result in nothing but harm to their own religious and commonplace affairs, as well as those of the people.
The best way to show sincerity is to abide by each article of the constitution, recognize the rights of the nation and, at the same time, commit [to the restoration of those rights]. The methods used until this point, based on autocratic and self-centered attitudes – despotism, violence, illegitimate and non-religious trials of political activists and public servants – will cause nothing but international isolation. In addition, such actions will further distance people from the establishment, desecrate the image of an already “oppressed Islam” and, ultimately, lead to the wrath of God. I hope that responsible officials will quickly correct their deviations to the satisfaction of God and his subjects.
10 Azar 1388 (December 1, 2009)
 ان الله لا يغير ما بقوم حتي يغيروا ما بانفسهم – سوره رعد، آيه 11
 امر به معروف ونهى از منكر
 “Oppressed Islam” is the word by word translation of (اسلام مظلوم), a phrase used to show that Islam is unjustifiably abused and understood incorrectly.