Tehran, Iran, Aug. 20 – Iran’s new police chief has ordered
a new wave of arrests in the country’s capital by the para-military
State Security Forces as part of a crackdown on young people harbouring anti-government sentiments.
State Security Forces have been instructed to use brute force to combat
dissent in particular among young people in the latest in a series of
extensions of police power on the streets.
In late-July, the recently appointed head of Iran’s State Security Forces
announced that members of the Bassij, Islamist
vigilantes loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,
were officially part of the law enforcement agencies.
“The Bassij forces can assist agents of the State
Security Forces in their activities”, said Brigadier General Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam.
Earlier this week, the new Justice Minister Jamal Karimi-Rad
went even further and said members of the government-organised
Ansar-e Hizbollah - the
clerical regime’s “storm troopers” – were also part of the law enforcement