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Monday, June 19, 2006

Iran to launch crackdown in restive border regions

Iran Focus Tehran, Iran, Jun. 19 – Iran’s Chief State Prosecutor announced that special regional security forces would be organised in Iran’s restive provinces to deal with “counter-revolutionary” elements, the official news agency IRNA reported on Monday.

“If necessary, regional forces will be organised on the borders to deal with counter-revolutionary provocations in such regions”, Ayatollah Qorban-Ali Dorri Najaf-Abadi said on Sunday.

Dorri Najaf-Abadi said that members of the paramilitary Bassij force would be equipped to an “acceptable standard” to fight “unrest” on the border regions.

Referring to a 100,000-strong anti-government demonstration by Iranians in the province of East Azerbaijan and a subsequent fortnight of continuous unrest in Iran’s Azeri provinces, he said that the cause of the protest itself was not that serious but that certain currents took advantage of the issue. “Elements that are engaging in mischief or sowing discord must be dealt with”, he said.

“Popular protest must not lead to the damaging of state banks. The security forces must take control”, he added.

Shiite cleric Dorri Najaf-Abadi was for several years the chief of the theocratic state’s secret police, known as the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). He resigned when an MOIS top deputy was implicated in the murder of dozens of dissident Iranian intellectuals and writers.
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