By Bahram Rafiei, Rooz Online
Last week, a senior Revolutionary Guard commander declared that the protests and demonstrations against the officially-announced results of the 2009 presidential elections that took place that very year were more "dangerous than the 8-year [Iran-Iraq] war" and added that the Guards were preparing themselves for "days of scheming and interference by the enemy in the [2013 presidential] elections."
Revolutionary Guard chief General Mohammad Ali Jafari
Speaking to Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and Basij militia commanders at a seminar on Jihad and Basij leaders, the commander of the Guards supreme commander Mohammad Ali Jaafari once again labeled people who took to the streets in 2009 to protest the official results of the presidential election of that year as "seditionists" and called that confrontation between the opponents and proponents of the event a "war."
"That test and its aftermath was a huge divine test for the Muslim people of Iran and the threat was much larger than that of the eight-year war for the revolution and Islam," he said. Referring to the violent measures that security forces took to confront the protestors and demonstrators he said, "This test and event was, like the imposed war, a turning point for the revolution. People around the world who were concerned about the fate of the Islamic revolution learned from the resistance, wisdom and thoughtfulness of the Iranian people in their confrontation with the domestic and foreign enemies."
He said the clashes of 2009 were between "revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries," and claimed that the other uprisings in the region against their own governments started after the crushing of the protests by the Islamic republic which demonstrates the impact of the Islamic revolution.
He also echoed what other Iranian leaders have been saying in that real freedom exists in the country. "Some seditionists are trying to exonerate themselves with the public but I doubt that this will succeed in the near future."
Another military commander, Iran's minister of defense Ahmad Vahidi, also spoke about the 2009 crisis and said that, "The world will face tumultuous days ahead as the battle between good and evil still continues at all battlefronts."
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei with IRGC commanders
A day before the remarks by these two senior military men, Jaafari's deputy Guards general Hamid Aslani also spoke of the upcoming presidential elections in 2013 and said, "In view of the enmity that exists against the Islamic republic the possibility of a threat against it exists at all times. The enemy most certainly does not want us to implement free and enthusiastic elections next year and intends to interfere and plot, but we are preparing ourselves for that."
He made these remarks at a seminar titled "Basij's Individual/Personal Defense Teams" (Goruhaye Defae Shakhsi Basij) where he announced that the Guards had prepared plans for such an eventuality. "Anyone who does not have a contingency plan will be the victim of those who do. Still, we do not have any specific issues," he further said.
In his talk, Aslani also said that in the 2009 clashes between Basij militiamen and demonstrators, Basijis had been hurt because of their lack of personal defense (martial arts) skills. "At that moment I made a commitment to myself to pay attention to martial arts among Basiji militiamen," he continued. "Basij efforts in the field of personal defense are a response to conditions that may again emerge in future and the "Demonstration of Authority" is aimed at confronting and preventing the possibility of such bitter events."
In the meantime, former Basij commander and a member of the political bureau of the IRGC who currently heads the Guards' Imam Hossein University said that the, "United States had created 8 special offices for overthrowing the Islamic republic through contacting elite inside the country and in some regional countries who would step in at the right moment."
He said that the current strategy of the "enemy" was to "Increase pressure and change the military balance of the Islamic republic.
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