Thousands Mourn Death of Iran's Dissident Cleric

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Thousands of mourners are in Iran's holy city of Qom Monday for the funeral of the most senior dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri.

His grandson, Nasser Montazeri, says the cleric died in his sleep overnight Sunday. According to the Web site of Iranian state television, doctors said the 87-year-old cleric suffered from asthma and arteriosclerosis, a disease that thickens and hardens arteries

The cleric often called for democratic change within the Iranian government. He was widely seen as the spiritual father of Iran's reform movement.

Authorities have barred foreign media from covering the funeral.

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