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Friday, June 19, 2009

Basiji Ups the Ante

The vigilantes plan to take their fight into the daylight on Friday, with the public relations department of Ansar Hezbollah, the most public face of the Basij, announcing that they planned a public demonstration to expose the “seditious conspiracy” being carried out by “agitating hooligans.”

“We invite the vigilant people who are always in the arena to make their loud objections heard in response to the babbling of this tribe,” said the announcement, carried on the Web site Parsine.

The announcement could be the first indication that the government was taking its gloves off, Iranian analysts noted, because up to this point the Basijis, usually deployed as the shock troops to end any public protests, have been working in stealth.

“It is the special brigades of the Revolutionary Guards who right now, especially at night, trap young demonstrators and kill them,” said Mohsen Sazegara, an Iranian exile who helped write the charter for the newly formed Revolutionary Guards in 1979 when he was a young aide to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. “That is one way the regime avoids the responsibility for these murders. It can say, ‘We don’t know who they are.’ ”

link: Shadowy Iranian Vigilantes Vow Bolder Action -


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