Amid a growing wave of protests across Iran, the country’s police have added about $10 million worth of anti-riot equipment to law enforcement forces, including special armored vehicles.

The deputy commander of the Iranian police, Brigadier-General Ghasem Rezaei, made the announcement during a ceremony where some of the equipment was handed over to special units, including 527 vehicles and motorcycles.

Rezaei said that the new equipment and vehicles will help the operational units better execute their missions and is aimed at "strengthening the security of the country." 

In addition to enhancing operational mobility, some of the new equipment provides police forces with “self-protection” during missions, he added. 

Iran has tens of thousands of special police and security units that are often deployed to break up antigovernmental protests that have become more frequent since 2017.

In November 2019, when a sudden government price increase for fuel was announced and nationwide demonstrations began, these security forces were ordered to shoot unarmed protesters, killing at least 1,500 people in a matter of a few days.

Last year, special forces were used in two provinces to quell protests during which more than ten people were killed and hundreds wounded.

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