From Nāyeb Gorbeh Little Bazaar to the Leadership House (2 –cont’d)
By: Farhang Abtin
Translator: Dr. Azadeh Azad
After the crimes of July 9, 1999, and the uncovering of the role of the Islamic State’s military-security hooligan forces in those events, splits gradually began to occur among these forces, particularly showing itself in the fall of the oldest. But the religious officials, who have had experience in controlling and influencing the depth of society’s traditional and religious culture for hundreds of years, know quite well how to attract new groups from the cultural and economic lower classes. Evidence has shown that these forces are more influenced by superstitious beliefs and believing in Imam Khamenei at an early age and are satisfied with up to getting “Sandis”; however, as they grow older and acquire more experience, they want more attractive “Sandis” and larger tributes. An interesting example of these lumpens is an individual by the name of Hassan Mir-Kāzemi who, while being the manager of the World Metal factories, Alborz Metal Parsians and Pars Compact Disc, is simultaneously in charge of supervising the Al-Hādi Mosque’s Basijis and motorcyclist hooligans. He has also been the most indebted borrower of the Agricultural Bank, with a debt of 175 billion tomans. (8)
According to the Rand Institute’s research, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have had extensive economic activities ever since the end of the Iran-Iraq War with the signing of 7650 contracts through its affiliated institutions. The IRGC’s special status has made this institution able to carry out its business without participation in economic auctions to buy companies’ shares; and this has caused resentment in the private sector. According to Iran’s economic analysts, the income from the IRGC’s activities in “illegal economic areas” amounts to 12 million dollars a year. (9)
Another known figure in the club-bearing Basij is Massoud Dehnamaki, who participated in the crimes of July 9, 1999, and openly supported the murder of secular intellectuals. According to the family of Ezzat Ebrahimi-Nejād, who was killed during the attacks on the University dormitory by the Basijis’ and police force’s plainclothes agents, Massoud Dehnamaki and Mehdi Safari-Tabār, son of Eslām-Shahr’s Friday Imam, have been involved in the murder of their son. Addressing Dehnamaki, they say:
“On July 9, 1999, you came at night and pushed Ezzat into a corner when he was alone, then you stabbed him with your knife and you and your friends beat him with chains until he fell and finally Safari-Tabār, son of Eslām-Shahr’s Friday Imam (Commander of IRGC), shot him to death with a revolver’s bullet, which entered Ezzat’s temple and left eye. … (10)
After Ahmadi-Nejād and types like him reached the higher levels of the political scene, Massoud Dehnamaki made a film with the title “Deportees”, with the theme of the lumpens’ spiritual transformation brought about by their participation in the War, a film filled with lumpenist dialogues and loutish games, in order to bring the Basiji culture into the realm of art as well. This film, with the full support of the Islamic government, was widely and enthusiastically received by the different classes of people and had a sale of billions. Different reasons have been expressed regarding the film’s success. Although on the one hand some believe that the film owes its success to its realism (11), on the other hand, many attribute it to the need of the people dominated by a theocracy for laughter and removal of taboos on lumpenist productions in the cinema (12), and of course, perhaps, the spectators’ curiosity about Dehnamaki’s infamous character. The delicate point in the story of Dehnamaki is that perhaps he has identified with the film’s heroes and considers himself one of the thugs who, by being present in the truth against falsehood war front, has received the divine light in his heart.
An exponential increase in popular discontent with the theocracy in the 1990’s and its peak on July 9, 1999, made both the religious officials and corrupt Generals of the IRGC fearful of the future. The final phase of this venture was the IRGC’s open congregation on the political scene. Previously, regarding the appointment of Mohammad-Ali (Aziz) Ja’fari to the position of the IRGC General by Khamenei, some indications of this discontent had become apparent. In fact, Aziz Ja’fari’s records during the commandment of the Camp Sārollah and suppression of the students’ protest had shown that Khamenei had been preparing himself for a severe crackdown on people since two years before the 2009 presidential elections.
With the classification of the threats to the Islamic Republic into soft threats, semi-hard (popular uprisings without firearms, internal and external economic-political threats) and hard (armed revolts, civil war and foreign war), Mohammad-Ali Ja’fari had assigned the task of fighting against the soft threat to the Civilian Basij, the semi-hard threat to the Military Basij and the hard threat to the IRGC’s Ground Force and Military Basij. In fact, his main concern and task was to repress people according to its classification during various stages of the threat against the Islamic regime.(13) The increase in military budget and the IRGC and Basij forces since 2006 with Khamenei’s idea also explains specific goals in the same direction.(14)
Another armed organization, which was formed to preserve the security of the Islamic Revolution, was the Islamic Revolution Committee, established on February 12, 1979, and whose foundations were formed in the neighbourhood mosques.(15) Next to a group of this organization‘s revolutionaries, it also became a convenient place for gathering and reviving a marginalized group of lumpens. The organization of “Islamic Revolution committees” forever institutionalized the civil rights violation and invasion of privacy in the history of Iran’s theocracy.
Later in the late 1980’s, these committees were merged with the police, resulting in the creation of the country’s police force. The General of this force is appointed by the direct orders of the Supreme Leader or after his being vested as the Minister of interior. Of course, the result of this action was the domination of the Committee forces on the Police in a medium-term process. The group of lumpen forces that had gathered in the Committee were able to commit extortion, confiscation of people’s property, theft, rape and murder of civilians under the cover of “revolutionary action”. The famous example of this group is “Esmāeil Eftekhāri” or “Blade-stabbing Esmāl”, an individual who was one of the extortionists of Tehran’s Jamshid neighbourhood [red district] and after the Revolution, he climbed to leadership in revolutionary Committees and also to higher levels of the Ministry of Information. He carries with him heavy burden of crimes, from robbery to murder. At the beginning of the Revolution, he launched the “Southern Tehran Hit Group”. He began his work by attacking houses and shops and offices of South Tehran and detention of individuals he called members of the SAVAK and police of the Shah’s time. Later on, the Hit Group integrated into the Islamic Revolution Committees and he too was recognized as the first General of District 12 of Tehran. What is interesting is that on September 26, 1980, Mahdavi Kani, the head of the Revolutionary Committees had announced the purification of the Committees from the unhealthy forces.(16) While, later on, not only “Blade-stabbing Esmāl” was promoted but also, according to some sources, from among his companions of that time, at least two are now working in the senior ranks of the police; these are General Ali-Reza Tāheri and Commander Ali-Reza Akbar-Shāhi, the latter presently being the Tehran Province’s Police Chief. (17), (18)
Among the police Generals, people like these individuals are never rare. From General Farhad Nazari, one of the individuals accused of assault on the University dormitory in 1999 (19), to General Mohammad-Reza Naqdi (the current Basij General) and Vessāl Secret Detention Centre torturer (20), club-bearing and lout Generals abound. Of course, not all have General Reza Zārei’s bad luck of (21), as apparently happens sometimes, the ruling network’s internal dispute causes the disclosure of part of their corruption and thus their elimination. For instance, the incident of the criminal presence and behaviours of General Ahmad-Reza Rādān, successor of the police commander in Kahrizak Detention Centre, were forgotten with silence and denial;(22) a role, which according to the report of eyewitnesses who cannot divulge their names for personal reasons, was mentioned as follows:
“Every morning, General Rādān inspects this location, and every day he personally beats and tortures several detainees every day. The best torture device in the hands of Rādān is the hose. Every morning, when the sound of a helicopter is heard, everyone begins trembling, realizing that Rādān has arrived.”(23)
One of the amazing points is that these same individuals, once in a while, implement a plan titled “The fight against thugs and hoodlums”, by this means they remove their poor, powerless and ineffectual competitors. In all the statements by the police and IRGC and their commanders’ speeches, over these years, wherever people protesting against the government are mentioned, lumpenist and degrading language and literature, accompanied by insults, threats and punishment, are used, and during the events after the 2009 elections when they went as far as the public killings of the defenceless people with firearms and cold weapons on the streets, and torture and rape of the protestors.
Thugocracy in today’s Iran is a reality. Iranians living in Iran feel the promotion of the lumpenist culture from the State television series to daily office encounters. They see that during that last 30 years [and more], the Islamic government increasingly reveals its true nature and makes extensive attempts to convert the behavioural model of a lumpen like Ahmadi-Nejād into a model for every Iranian citizen. The behaviours of the Islamic-military government of Iran are not those of the authoritarian military, but the behaviours of a bunch of armed thugs. These are thugs who have become Generals, PhDs, billionaires, Presidents and Ministers, but the point that they know themselves is that “blade-stabbing Esmāl, even when he goes inside the Leadership House, is still the same blade-stabbing Esmāl”.
*) The title of this write-up is inspired by the title of a 1969 review of the film “Kaiser” by film critic Dr. Houshang Kāvoussi, which is “From Dodge City to Nāyeb Gorbeh Little Bazaar”.
8. حسین میر کاظمی لباس شخصی اسلحه بدست کتاب می نویسد
9. http://oceania5.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/گزارش-لوموند-از-مداخله-سپاه-پاسداران-د 10.
10 قاتل ابراهیم نژاد از شهدای ۱۸ تیر را بهتر بشناسیم !ده نمکی کیست؟
12. سلطه کمدی ابتذال بر سینمای ایران
13.تغییرات تدریجی در سپاه و تصفیه پاسداران قدیمی
14. افزایش 200 درصدی بودجه پایگاه های بسیج
15.تشکیل نیروی انتظامی به روایت اولین فرمانده آن
16. تصفیه پاسداران ناسالم کمیته ها – گشت و گذاری در روزنامه های 30 سال پیش .شهروند امروز
17.تیغ کش انقلابی آزادی ات مبارک .امیرفرشاد , ابراهیمی . گفتنی ها
18. اسمال تیغ زن یکی از متجاوزان به زندانی ها
19. فرجام غم انگیز پرونده کوی دانشگاه
20.شکنجه گر ناجا در سمت فرماندهی بسیج
21. ماجرای بازداشت فرمانده نیروی انتظامی استان تهران به همراه 6 زن
22. سکوت رادان درباره نقش خود در کهریزک
23. کشتار و شکنجه تکان دهنده در کهریزک . موج سبز آزادی
From Nāyeb Gorbeh Little Bazaar to the Leadership House (1)
From Nāyeb Gorbeh Little Bazaar to the Leadership House (1-cont’d)
From Nāyeb Gorbeh Little Bazaar to the Leadership House (2)
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