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Iran: Extraordinary Mobilization of the Regime’s Repressive Forces in Fear of a Youth Uprising During Fire-Festival

Iran, November 2019 protests

The crisis-riddled clerical regime has been taking extraordinary deterrent measures to prevent an uprising by Iranian youth during the fire festival (Chaharshanbe Suri – celebrated on the eve of the last Wednesday before Nowruz, the Iranian New Year). These actions are designed to prevent protests and rallies, especially in the capital Tehran.

Yesterday, the Greater Tehran State Security Force Commander, IRGC Brig. Gen. Hassan Rahimi told IRNA that all police forces were ready on the eve of the last Wednesday of the year: “Those who cause explosions on the eve of the last Wednesday of the year will be dealt with severely … Those causing disrupting the calm and security and those driving cars and detonating firecrackers and causing panic will be dealt with. We have coordinated this with the judiciary and obtained necessary permissions.”

He told the regime’s Radio and TV news agency, on February 23, 2021: “The implementation of a new repressive plan called ‘Public Security Police Authority and Lightning Plan’ to deal with ‘possible incidents,’ one of the main goals of which is to counter youth activities during the Fire Festival.”

According to the regime parliament’s news agency yesterday, Gholam-Reza Montazeri, the deputy chairman of the cultural parliamentary committee, admitted: “Today, due to lack of attention, Fire Festival has become a threat… It has become a tumultuous Festival over time.” Meanwhile, IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad-Reza Yazdi, chief commander of IRGC forces in Tehran, told Hamshahri Online daily, today: “Today, task forces have been formed in different communities of Tehran to confront … those who disrupt public security.” The main purpose of the tactical maneuver of Tehran’s IRGC Corps (“Sarallah Brigadier”) with the participation of the IRGC, Basij and State Security Force on March 5 was to prepare for an uprising in Tehran.

Since March 31, by assigning 10 to 12 officers from the “Special Units” to each police station in Tehran, the repressive State Security Force has started foot and mounted patrols and set up new checkpoints. In some provinces, such as Semnan, the repressive forces took preventive measures, such as collecting worn-out tires and dry tree foliage to prevent them from being set on fire during the Fire Festival.

The state-run media is also warning people against participating in Fire Festivals on the pretext of COVID-19 protocols, threatening the consequences of disrupting “public order.”

Honoring the memory of the martyrs of the uprisings, and those executed by the regime, particularly the martyrs of the recent massacre in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, the social headquarters of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI) in Iran issued a statement on February 28, calling for turning the Fire Festival into an act of defiance against the religious dictatorship, which has murdered Iranian youth.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
March 15, 2021