By Bahram Rafiee, Rooz Online
While Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi emphasized in their latest meeting the importance of June 4 and 5, as well as 15 and 20, and asked for a permit for a national demonstration on June 12, military commanders in the Basij and the Islamic Passdaran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have mobilized all their resources, including through preparing food and cultural packages, to bring their forces to Tehran.
food, drinks and prizes have been distributed at previous pro-government rallies
IRGC commanders have especially focused on
holding a massive rally on June 4, the anniversary of ayatollah Khomeini's
passing, which will be attended by ayatollah Khamenei.
An IRGC commander, Hossein Hamedani, said, "This year we will witness massive public participation, similar to December 30 and February 11 of 2009, in the Imam's memorial gathering. So far about 5 million individuals have committed to participating."
This IRGC commander, who had previously claimed that "this year's memorial gathering is different from previous ones," added, "Given the large number of people who have committed, we don't have the capacity to transfer all of them to Tehran. But this year the Imam's memorial fall on a Friday, and we're going to witness one of the world's most awe-inspiring Friday prayers in the year 2010."
Everything Is Ready! Don't Bring Cell Phones and Cameras
Meanwhile, a Basij commander, Ali Fazli, said,
"In this year's memorial we have to blind the eye of the conspiracy."
Fazli added, "Imam Khomeini doesn't belong to particular groups or people, but belongs to all the world's Muslims and liberated thinkers. We expect to have more than two million pilgrims and participants this year." Despite Hossein Hamedani's claim that 5 million individuals have committed to attending, Fazli said, "736 thousand pilgrims from 29 provinces and one million and 264 thousand individuals from Tehran will participate in the memorial."
Fazli also noted, "Everything is prepared, in all areas including housing, food, and cultural programs."
The Basij commander also asked people who plan to participate in Imam Khomeini's memorial "not to bring extra items, such as cell phones, because of problems related to monitoring and checking them in."
The IRGC and Basij commanders made these
announcements about June 4 while, in recent weeks, publications associated with
the IRGC have claimed that government protesters have planned various programs
spanning from Khordad through July 9, stressing the need to deploy forces to
Tehran to preempt any large scale gathering.
Despite Fazli's claim of 2 million and Hamedani's claim of 5 million participants in Imam Khomeini's memorial, reports in various websites and media outlets associated with the IRGC point to the organization's failure to prepare forces in the numbers claimed by its commanders.
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