Iran creates 15 police battalions to confront stadium protests

As recently as Aug. 10, hundreds of fans shouted slogans against the government of the Islamic Republic during a football match in Tehran. (Supplied)

From time to time, Iran witnesses widespread popular protests, in which protesters develop a variety of ways to express their anger at government policies.

This year, Iran has seen several demonstrations in the capital and other cities, but what is new is that protesters are using stadiums to launch slogans against government policies.

To confront this phenomenon in the stadiums, the commander of the Iranian Police Special Forces announced on Wednesday the establishment of 15 battalions throughout the country to counter what he described as "threats".

The commander, Gen. Hassan Karmi, at a seminar held recently celebrating the anniversary of the Iraq-Iran war announced "the establishment of 15 battalions throughout the country so far, and these battalions will control the security in sports stadiums".

The Basij or popular mobilization militias in Iran are composed of male and female civilian volunteers, established by former Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini in November 1979 in order to provide internal security as well as to participate in foreign wars such as the war in Syria.

As recently as Aug. 10, hundreds of fans shouted slogans against the government of the Islamic Republic during a football match in Tehran.

AFP reported then that the official Iranian channel broadcasted the game with a very low volume so that the slogans against Khamenei would not be heard.

Since the end of 2017, Iran has witnessed a renewed wave of demonstrations in various parts of the country, where thousands of citizens protest the high prices, poor living, corruption and internal and external policies of their government.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:58 - GMT 06:58
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