Addressing commanders of the Basij forces of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), President Khatami said that though the Basij took shape in the course of the (Iraqi) imposed war, but, it is rooted in the essence of the Islamic Revolution.
"We need Basij for reconstruction. Both today and tomorrow, we need Basij," the president said.
He recalled memory of the late Imam Khomeini who ordered establishment of the Basij in 1358 (1979) and said that Basij was a potentiality which the Late Imam Khomeini recognized thanks to his insight.
The president recalled the great role the Basij has played in the development of the Islamic Revolution and said that Basij is a popular entity standing by the people. Basij has no affiliation to any political factions, he said.
A Basij member is not only an individual, he or she is the symbol of a specific culture, the culture of "faith, awareness and sacrifice," he said.
He said that a Basij member is known for his habit of "sacrificing himself for the people and loving the people."
The president said that Basij has a bright record of campaign against violence.
"The Basij stood against the extensive foreign-backed organized violence against revolutionary figures which erupted in the early years of the Islamic Revolution. Basij set a record of campaign against violence of counter-revolutionaries," he said.
"The counter-revolutionary terrorists dealt a blow to the Islamic Revolution by assassinating prominent figures while the unknown Basij members also fell victims to the blind terrorism for their campaign against violence," President Khatami said.
"I pay tribute to the sacrifices the Army of the Islamic Republic and the IRGC made in the course of the imposed war. In the meantime, I believe that the Basij members set a unique record of sacrifices to an extent that the voluntary presence of the Basij in the war fronts helped the armed forces gain surprising victory in the battlefield," he said.
The president gave an example of the Basij presence on the scene and said that in the course of Tehran's street riots in 1378 (August 1999) in which the rioters set several banks and shops ablaze, the Basij put an end to the riots and violence without firing a single bullet.
"The Basij stands against violence, because those who resort to violence are aggressors," he said.
Basij is a popular entity, the symbol of participation in the social affairs and law-abiding, he said adding that basij stands against the law breakers.
The president said that Basij is not a military organ, but, it has been involved in carrying out different reconstruction projects after the end of the imposed war.
President Khatami said that those who oppose the Basij have no affinity with the Islamic Revolution.
He regretted that certain people work hard to attribute the violence committed by themselves to the Basij.
... Payvand News - 7/26/01 ... --