Date of Publish: ۴ آذر ۱۳۸۸

Mousavi condemns Basij role as oppressive force

MirHosein Mousavi

On the thirtieth anniversary of Iran’s Basij militia, opposition leader MirHosein Mousavi cautioned the government to desist from turning the voluntary organization in a force for the oppression of the people.

The Basij is a volunteer paramilitary volunteer militia established by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979.

In his latest announcement, Mousavi declares that “power-mongers” dress Basij forces in “terrifying” attire and send them out to create fear in the hearts of their fellow Iranians. He added that “these short-sighted actions endanger the national security of the country.”

The elections protests to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in the presidential elections which the opposition claims was fraudulent were largely confronted by Basij forces. The shooting of protesters during demonstrations has also been reportedly connected with Basij forces.

Mousavi reminds the Islamic Republic that Basij was not supposed to be “rewarded per head by the government for each person it arrests. It was not supposed to become the machinery that takes away people’s right to vote freely.”

In Iran, armed forces are forbidden from interfering in politics; however, Revolutionary Guard commanders have declared that they are responsible for the protection of the objectives of the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Republic regime.

Many prominent leaders and reformist parties have warned against the interference of Revolutionary Guards and the Basij in political matters. Revolutionary Guard commanders maintain that the section of the Basij that is not directly employed by the Guards can remain politically active.