Iranian Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani said that the only solution for Iran is the removal of the "religious gang" from power and that Iran must be ruled by a secular regime. He made these remarks in an interview that aired on Al-Arabiya Network (Saudi Arabia) on May 21, 2021. Ayatollah Masoumi-Tehrani, who was speaking from Tehran, said that clerics must be removed from government and focus only on religious and social issues. He said that the opposition to the government lacks unity and cooperation, but it agrees that the clerics must "relinquish control." Ayatollah Masoumi-Tehrani went on to say that if the current regime does not "listen to the voice of reason" and leave on its own, it will be forced to face a popular movement that will take it down by force.
He emphasized that the problem is not specifically with Supreme leader Ali Khamenei, but with the concept of the Rule of the Jurisprudent, which he says is not an Islamic concept, rather it is a "contrived concept." Ayatollah Masoumi-Tehrani further said that the world is concerned about Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, because the Iranian regime has acted irresponsibly, providing groups in Lebanon and Yemen with rockets. He said that the Iranian people are peace-loving, and that were it not for concerns that the regime will supply its proxies with nuclear weapons, the world would not object if Iran obtained such weapons for itself alone. Ayatollah Masoumi-Tehrani said that Iran wants to blackmail the world. Earlier this year, Ayatollah Masoumi-Tehrani made headlines when he was interviewed from Tehran by an Israeli TV channel.
Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi Tehrani: "Like many others, I believe that this [Iranian] regime must be entirely replaced. Clerics, in particular, should be excluded from government and politics, and they should return to the religious institutions and the mosques. This is the healthy state of affairs. Clerics should be prevented from interfering in political affairs. However, I find it hard to believe that this will happen, and that the ruling gang will abandon its ambitions and policies. They continue with the same approach since the establishment of this regime. All the sources of authority, clerics, and intellectuals, who opposed this regime, were oppressed, beginning with their opposition to Kohmeini and then to the leaders that followed him. The most prominent example is the late Ayatollah Shariatmadari, but there were six other senior sources of authority, who were subjected to house arrest and imprisonment, whether in Mashhad or in Qom. Therefore, I believe that there is no solution other than radical change. However, this requires an agreement between the political forces. Unfortunately, the opposition forces lack such unity and coordination. There is no consensus on what to say or what to do. However, everyone agrees that the clerics must step down, and return to the mosques and to the religious institutions."
Interviewer: "Do you mean Ali Khamenei? Is the removal of the Jurisprudent Ruler from power the solution for the Iranian regime?"
Ayatollah Masoumi Tehrani: "Absolutely, and not just Khamenei, but whoever fills this position. If the clerics remain in power, the problems will continue. We believe that the government should be secular. The government should provide services, and the clerics should fulfill their social and religious role. However, they must relinquish power permanently. We are facing a crucial matter: either they listen to the voice of reason, and disappear from the scene on their own, or they will face a popular movement that will take them down by force. The problem is not with Khamenei himself. He is a product of an entire system that must be eliminated.
"The Rule of the Jurisprudent is a contrived concept. It is not me who says so, but most of the Shi'ite sources of authority. They stress that there is no such thing as the Rule of the Jurisprudent in Islam.
"The only solution is to remove this religious gang from power. Only then will the people be able to coexist with one another and choose the type of government that suits them and can resolve their problems.
"The regime's goal is to stay in power and to quell the opposition. This regime believes it should always have an enemy, in order to continue its policy of self-preservation. The expansionist policy basically requires the existence of an enemy.
"I do not believe that the world has a problem with Iran having a nuclear bomb. Pakistan and India have nuclear bombs and no one has a problem with that. The problem is with the irresponsible [Iranian] regime. This regime produces rockets and provides them to Yemen and Gaza. Therefore, there is no guarantee that if this regime obtains a nuclear bomb, it will not pass it on to his proxies in Lebanon and elsewhere. Therein lies the danger, and not in the [obtaining of a] nuclear bomb in itself. The problem lies in the regime, and not in the peace-loving Iranian people, who want to live in peace with their neighbors and with all the countries. This regime is the one that drags the country into conflicts and wars. Unfortunately, this regime does not care about national interests, but wants to blackmail the world from a position of power."