News : Insider
- Published: Saturday, 01 March 2014
The Iranian regime has begun a crackdown ahead of the traditional Iranian fire festival which precedes Iranian New Year. The regimes security forces have undertaken a series of moves to discourage celebrations, and have attempted to confiscate firecrackers and other materials which they deem to be "dangerous".
This includes reports of seizing large quantities of explosives in Qazvin, as reported by Fars News. The regime continually casts these moves as being done in the name of safety and security, when in reality they are undertaken to strike fear in the public and discourage them from gathering in the streets and potentially airing their grievances against the regime.
The Iranian fire festival traditionally involves the building of bonfires in public streets, with participants jumping over them and setting off firecrackers to celebrate the festival. The festival normally attracts large numbers, gathering in parks, squares and city streets.
The regime has viewed the the gathering as a potential threat to security, particularly over the past few years, as it has the potential to serve as a platform for opposition to the regime, particularly among young Iranians. Past celebrations have included Iranian youth burning pictures of Khomeini and Khamanei during the festivals, while others have chanted anti-regime slogans while in large crowds.
The regime has attempted to claim that the celebration is un-islamic and encouraged individuals to stay at home.