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Interview with Behzad Nabavi's Interrogator

Report by Rooz Online

In this interview, published by the Panjere magazine, the interviewee is introduced as a person who has been involved in the interrogation and political prosecution of many prominent and lesser known detainees since Iran's contested presidential election 9 months ago.

Behzad Nabavi in court

Here are the key excerpts of the interview:

Q. How were the individuals to be arrested selected and what was the arrest process?

* All the people who were arrested were influential in creating the turbulent atmosphere of the tenth presidential election because of their history of activism.  In effect, all the people who were arrested initially had a leadership role, either by making speeches, giving interviews, publishing articles, etc.  Also, the country's intelligence and security apparatus had information that some people were planning to use the election process as an excuse to create chaos and disturbance under the name of soft or color revolution, similar to what took place in several other countries.

* In general, one can say that prevention is a normal and ordinary process in all governments, for example we have prevention in the ministry of health, and prevention is also a serious issue in national security areas.  

* There is a difference between those who were arrested in the first round and those that were detained subsequently. Those arrested in the first round had the role of provocation and guidance while the latter were merely the field activists. We believed that if we caught the first group, which was the planning and guide group, then the color revolution would not succeed in its goals. And this perception was correct to a certain point.  We aimed at preventing focus and organization of the opposition.

* One characteristic of color revolutions is the presence of revolutionary agents inside the government.... It is rare for a group to be both part of the government and oppose it by belonging to the outside opposition.  In our case, these inside agents of the revolution were previously in the government and became the opposition after their exit.  They had an additional goal, which was to say authoritarianism and dictatorship exists.  Policy papers of the Iran Participation Front say that parts of the ruling establishment must be come democratic. This is criticism, not reform. In reality this is media charlatanism that is portrayed through lies.

* The confessions of detainees were not extracted under pressure.  They use beautiful reasoning, and their confession that there was no fraud benefits the people and the regime.  

* In either case, such people are either liked or hated by the public.  If he is hated, whether he confesses or not becomes irrelevant, and in that case it is in the regime's interest to arrest him.  But if he is liked, then when he comes and says fraud was the basis of the operation, then this is in the regime's interest, because these issues are very important for the grey layers of society because the most popular web blog in Iran belongs to him.

* Behzad Nabavi's claim that the arrest warrants were issued on June 9 is a lie.  The June 9 warrant was a general warrant issued by the judiciary to the security apparatus.  

* I regard most of the arrests to have been right, because the detainees were somehow involved in the soft revolution through their speeches, accusations of dictatorship, etc.  The Iranian judiciary was weak.  Everyone who raises such issues must be prosecuted. If he can't prove what he claims, then he must be punished according to law.  Some other people should have been arrested too, but were not. So there must have been some prioritization about arrests based on their involvement in the soft revolution process. Members of Mosharekat [Participation] Party are an example who were involved in an attempt to secularize the regime.

* The release of many people after February 11 is a wise decision as the events showed the world that the regime is in control of events. We also have Islamic mercy and thus give some leaves, and others may be pardoned, while still others must spend time behind bars.

... Payvand News - 03/18/10 ... --

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