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Iran: Head of Basij Organization Announces Plans to Create Neighbourhood Patrols


NCRI Staff

NCRI – The head of Iranian regime’s Basij organization (the paramilitary suppressive force) announced the plan to establish patrols of the neighbourhoods. The state-run Etemad newspaper on Thursday compared formation of these patrols with the measures taken by “Revolutionary Committees” during the 1980s.

According to state-run ISNA news agency, in a news conference on Wednesday November 15, Gholamhossein Gheybparvar said: “We want to reduce the number of checkpoints and turn them into neighbourhood patrols.”

According to Gheybparvar, they will coordinate their activities with the judiciary and police to create neighbourhood patrols.

Since the 1978 revolution, the Basij forces have been carrying out checkpoints on the streets of the Iranian cities, and have inspected passers-by and passing cars.

Although in the 1990s, the number of these patrols was reduced, but in the 2000s, various plans were implemented on the checkpoint and patrols by the Basij forces. For example, the Basij forces were patrolling in the cities across Iran in 2008.

Ahmad Zolghadr, deputy commander of the Basij force operation said that the patrols would have five members and would operate on foot in a thousand points in the Iranian cities’ urban neighbourhoods.

He claimed that the purpose of these patrols was to “help secure a stable environment in neighbourhoods,” “dealing with thugs and thieves,” “preventing damage to public, Governmental and private places” and “dealing with evident crimes”.

However, Basij forces had a massive presence in suppressing the 2009 anti-government uprising a year after the formation of these patrols.

Meanwhile, state-run Etemad newspaper, on Thursday, compared the formation of Basij militant patrols with the activities of the Revolutionary Committees during the early years of the 1979 Revolution and the 1980s.

Revolutionary Committees in the 1980s sought to deal with issues such as the distribution of music tapes, video films, home celebrations and the like, under the pretext of “prevention of vice”. The committee members also played an active role in suppressing the political opponents of the regime.

The “Basij Strengthening” plan was approved by the regime’s parliament on Wednesday, November 15. Based on the amendments to the plan, the government “can proceed to allocate appropriate lands for military training and conducting exercises by Basij forces.”

In recent years, several plans have been adopted by the parliament to “strengthen” the Basij Organization.

The Organization for Mobilization of the Oppressed (Basij) is one of the five forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). A paramilitary (formerly) volunteer militia established in Iran in 1979 by order of Ayatollah Khomeini, the supreme leader of the Iranian regime at the time, the organization originally consisted of civilian volunteers who were urged by Khomeini to fight in the Iran–Iraq War.

It was an independent organization from inception until 17 February 1981, when it was officially incorporated into the IRGC structure by the Iranian regime’s parliament in order to end the inter-service rivalry between the two, according to the regime’s former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Basij serve as an auxiliary force engaged in activities such as internal security, law enforcement auxiliary, providing social services, organizing public religious ceremonies, policing morals, and suppression of dissident gatherings. The force is named Basij; an individual member is called Basiji.

The Basijis are subordinate to and receive their orders from the IRGC and Khamenei, to whom they are known for their loyalty. They have a local organization in almost every city in Iran.

As of December 2016, Gholamhossein Gheybparvar is the commander of the Basij. The force was often present and reacting to the widespread 2009 uprising following Iranian regime’s sham elections.