by Mahmood Hakamian
“The protests that erupted recently across Iran involved setting fire to the State Security Force’s motorcycles, breaking the windows of religious seminaries in Abhar and Zanjan, setting fire to police kiosks in Arak, opening fire on the IRGC with hunting rifles, assaulting a State Security Force officer with a brick….” according to Brig. Gen. Rasoul Sanai, Political Affairs Deputy for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Sanai spoke about the behind the scenes developments of the recent unrest, “Their plan was to spread the riots from the surrounding areas to the capital (Tehran) because they believe owing to previous incidents in Tehran and major cities, Iran’s security and defense forces had been trained and gained the expertise to confront riotous actions. But in other cities the potential for inciting the public is much greater and the security forces have a lesser presence.”
He blamed the Iranian Resistance for the escalation of the protests, saying, “As such, the most serious clashes took place in Touyserkan (Hamedan Province) and several people were killed, including two people who attacked the prison and have yet to be identified. The leaders and those inciting the protests in this city were from the ‘Hypocrites’ (MEK or PMOI). They had come from other cities so as not to be identified. Those who were detained were pursued from the time of MEK incursion into western Iran in 1988….”
The Political Affairs Deputy continued, “Eighty percent of those arrested were under 30 years of age. There were several women among them, who are middle aged. In the 1980s, those who were leading MEK protests were mostly women. And now, the main chain of provocation and starting the protests were women. For example, four of these women caused the protests in the city of Ilam (western Iran). After they were detained, we realized they were not from Ilam….”
Sanai also claimed, “Similarly, those arrested in Kermanshah had come from the city of Karaj (near Tehran). Those who were from Bandar Abbas were arrested in Shiraz. These were the MEK who would go to the cities in an organized fashion and were guiding the slogans. The most radical and sacrilegious slogans, such as ‘they have used Islam as a ladder to harass the people, neither Islam, neither the Quran, let’s sacrifice both for Iran…” and added, “This shows how much they hate Islam and political religion. Directing attacks on military centers, like assaults on the State Security Force and Bassij bases were part of the planning by the MEK. They even attacked the prisons, which means they have their hands in prisons as well.”