ISSN 2330-717X

Iran: 20,000 Security Forces Mobilized For Anniversary Of Khomeini’s Demise – OpEd

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In a speech today on Khomeini’s 33rd death anniversary, current Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei said the “enemies are triggering unrest in Iran to overthrow the Islamic Republic,” referring to ten-day-long protests over the collapse of a building in Abadan in southwestern Iran last month that killed 41 people.

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Khomeini’s death on June 3, 1989, was a big relief for the Iranian people who had experienced a decade of brutal repression following the 1979 revolution. In the 1980s, thousands of opponents were tortured and executed. 

In the summer of 1988, based on Khomeini’s fatwa, 30,000 political prisoners were executed for being steadfast in their support for the Iranian opposition group, the MEK. 

For Khamenei’s speech today, the regime had assembled 20,000 forces to secure the area, and the IRGC commander Hossein Salami personally supervised the “security operation.” 

The reason for this huge number of security forces is that the network affiliated with the MEK, known as the Resistance Units, took control of over 5000 surveillance cameras for 24 hours in the capital on Thursday, including at Khomeini’s Mausoleum and Governmental offices used for surveillance by the offices of Khamenei and regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi, Intelligence Ministry, and the IRGC. 

“This vast network is one of the principal instruments of surveillance and suppression used by the clerical regime,” MEK-related Resistance Units said in a statement, while releasing new footage of the major operation, planned months in advance.

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Iran has witnessed crippling protests by the population during recent weeks following the rise in the prices of food stapple and later the collapse of the Metropol Tower in the southwestern city of Abadan. 

“In recent years, these cameras have been used to identify and detain protesters taking part in popular uprisings and protests,” the MEK’s report on the operation by the Resistance Units said.

The Resistance Units released a video clip that showed the Tehran municipality website and others defaced with a graphic that criticized the “anti-human Khomeini.” It also included an image of Ali Khamenei with a red “X” over his face, as well as images of opposition leaders Massoud Rajavi and Maryam Rajavi, while calling for an “uprising until overthrow.”

SMS messages to nearly 600,000 Tehran residents carrying similar slogans had also been sent in the operation, it added.

Hamid Enayat

Hamid Enayat is an Iranian human rights activist and analyst based in Europe.

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