Sunday, January 29, 2006

Iran Baseej Militia Interferes in Election?

Hamed Irani, Rooz Online: Rooz Special Report
Rooz reporter reports that in a big gathering of Baseej (Iran Militia) commanders belonging to different forces, hardline cleric Panahian, the loyal follower of ultra-conservative cleric Mesbah Yazdi praised Baseej and its organized role in their participation in last summer’s presidential elections that brought hardline Ahmadinejad to power.

In a seminar titled “Awareness”, Sabbaghi, the representative of the Supreme Leader of Iran in Baseej, expressed his support for Ahmadinejad and called his election the fruit of Baseej’s efforts. Panahian also claimed that Baseej’s popular and well-organized movement had brought a government to power whose president would establish justice and whose this election slogans had promoted hope in the society. He called upon the Baseej forces to boost their efforts. Panahian asked hardline Baseej commanders and bases to play their effective role and not to remain passive in removing corruption from government bodies.

In his address to Baseej, the hardline cleric stressed that the difference between Baseej and ordinary people is not clear today. While ordinary people live through daily routines, Baseej forces work more actively because they are aware of the fact that the manifestation of absent Imam (12th Shiite Imam) is imminent. READ MORE

In his protest letter to the Supreme Leader soon after the announcement of the presidential elections in June 2005, Ahmadinejad’s presidential rival cleric Mehdi Karrubi questioned the role of Baseej forces in the elections, stating they had overstepped their mandate and role.

Karrubi said that Baseej and Passdaran Revolutionary Guards Corps had played the decisive role in changing the results of the elections. In his letter, Karrubi protested that parts of Baseej and Passdaran had paid money to groups of people in their religious circles in small towns to work for them and had an illegal presence at polling stations to encourage the public to vote for Ahmadinejad, the candidate of their choice. In response to Karrubi’s protests, the leader had accused him of trying to create crisis in the country and has stated that he would not allow anyone to do so.