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IRAN: Paranoid mullahs reject New Year Fire Festival as ‘religiously forbidden’


NCRI – Paranoid mullahs ruling in Iran who fear that the Iranian people use the Chaharshanbe-Suri (fire festival on eve of the last Wednesday of the year in the Persian calendar) to stage popular protests against the religious dictatorship, have resorted to extensive repressive military and security measures across the country, particularly in the country’s capital city, Tehran.

Referring to the fire festival which marks the beginning of New Year or Nowruz (March 21) celebrations in Iran, a senior cleric described participation in the event as ‘religiously forbidden and warned people about ‘crossing God’s redlines’.

Ahmad Khatami, a member of the regime’s Assembly of Experts, said: “From a legal viewpoint, these fire plays are a transgression on others’ rights. Likewise, from a Sharia standpoint it is harassment of the believers and is religiously forbidden.” He threatened that “crossing God’s redlines is not joyous, but wipes away the joy”.

A senior Iranian police commander, Taqi Mehri, the Crime Prevention Police Chief was quoted on February 22 by state-run Asriran: “Holding gatherings for the Fire Festival has been forbidden and is not permitted.”

He added: “As per previous years and according to the law, this year too, the security forces will confront those… who attempt to block the main passages.”

Another official was quoted by an IRGC affiliated website on March 13: “Regretfully, in recent years, the Fire Festival has diverged from its traditional nature and has turned violent.”

The commander of police in the Kerman Province, Brigadier General Hossein Chenarian emphasized the implementation of special security measures and said: “The security forces will harshly treat the vendors of firecrackers and those who disrupt the tranquility of the people during the last days of the year.”

Calling the protestors “thugs and hoodlums” he said on March 10: “The security forces will persistently monitor the identified thugs and hoodlums.”

He threatened that, to provide security in the days of Nowruz holiday, those who are arrested during these days will be detained until the last day of holidays.

These repressive measures are adopted while a call by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) on February 26 to turn the Fire Festival into an uprising and protest against the clerical regime has been greatly welcomed nationwide further frightening the regime.