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Iran prepares for new crack down on opposition

Protests expected after upcoming subsidy cuts

Published:

As the Iranian government embarks on a saving strategy in preparation for imminent subsidy cuts, police and state security issued secret instructions for the suppression of any upcoming riots in protest.

Relevant ministries and local municipalities received orders to crack down on demonstrations expected to be organized by the Green Movement which supports opposition figures and presidential candidates in the 2009 elections Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

According to reports from Tehran these secret instructions include the enhancement of current security measures inside government bodies and adding new ones to guarantee a prompt reaction in case of unrest as well as offering more training to security staff and engaging them in live maneuvers to ensure their readiness for any upcoming incidents.

Civil defense centers are to declare a state of emergency and special crisis-management units are to be created inside them.

Regular security checks are to be carried out in stores and warehouses and the video tapes of their surveillance camera are to be reviewed periodically.

The government also issued instructions that all inflammatory commodities and any incendiary substances are to be rounded up and confiscated.

According to reports, the Iranian regime is extremely concerned about the possibility of the fall of strategic establishments like police stations, military bases, and municipality offices in the hands of the opposition.

Iran Police Chief Brigadier General Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, brother-in-law of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stated earlier that the police are worried about possible riots after subsidy cuts similar to the ones that took place in the wake of the implementation of the first stages of the fuel rationing plan.

Basij and Revolutionary Guard

To face these threats, the police will carry out training maneuvers with Iran’s paramilitary forces the Basij whose members played a major role in suppressing the protests that swept the country after the results of the 2009 presidential elections came out.

In the meantime, Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) formed 1,500 brigades to face future protests and assigned the security of the capital Tehran to the IRGC-affiliated Mohammad Rasool-Allah brigade.

Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani, commander of Mohammad Rasool-Allah brigade, said new assignments were added to the brigade’s already-existing duties and that new squads and division are to be formed.

IRGC’s Ashura brigade, Hamedani added, is also part of the government’s plan to face protests especially after its performance in the post-election unrest.

Hamedani’s statements are seen as an official declaration of the government apprehensions over massive protests in the aftermath of subsidy cuts.

Several other officials issued statement echoing the same concerns such as Ahmad Jannati, chairman of the Guardian Council of the Constitution, and who issued a controversial statement regarding crushing the opposition:

“Any surgery necessitates a little bloodshed,” he said.


(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).