A fire at a military barrack in Ahvaz in southwestern Iran  (December 2022)

A fire at a military barrack in Ahvaz in southwestern Iran

Iran Protesters Apparently Behind Arson Attacks On Military Bases

Saturday, 12/10/2022

There are reports of fires in military barracks and bases of Basij paramilitary forces across Iran apparently as acts of arson by antigovernment protesters. 

There are reports of fires in military barracks and bases of Basij paramilitary forces across Iran apparently as acts of arson by antigovernment protesters. 

Videos published on social networks Saturday show a massive fire in one of the major Basij bases in the city of Ahvaz, located in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, called ‘Imam Hussein base’.

The base is one of the main centers to organize security forces and dispatch them to nearby cities to quell the ongoing protests, ignited by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini in mid-September. 

There are also reports of similar incidents in several Basij bases in different cities, including a massive fire in the Basij base of Razvanshahr in the northern Gilan province and the burning of a Basij base in the religious city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran. 

In the footage of the fire at the Basij base in Mashhad, someone describes the fire as a protest against the execution of Mohsen Shekari, a young protester hanged for injuring a security guard with a knife and closing off a street in the capital Tehran. 

Another fire burned down the basij base of Tehran’s Sharif University on Friday night. An official working at the base, Abolfazl Hajizadeh, told reporters that two people entered the university in the middle of the night and set the base on fire with two bottles containing an inflammable substance. 

Setting fire to basij bases, where repression agents are normally stationed, and the seminaries of cities and state buildings have become a recurring phenomenon during the past three months. Mosques and basij bases in several cities such as Gorgan, Orumiyeh (Urmia), Kazerun, and Zanjan were set on fire by the protesters since the current wave of protests began. 

In November, the ancestral home of the Islamic Republic’s founder Ruhollah Khomeini in the city of Khomein in the western Markazi province was also set ablaze with crowds of jubilant protesters marching past. 

The execution of Mohsen Shekari, as the first protester who was hanged, has fueled more protests in Iran and led to worldwide condemnations by governments and public personalities. The United States, Canada, Australia, and the European Union imposed additional sanctions or are considering punitive measures against the Islamic Republic. Many people have described Mohsen Shekari as the most significant name in the revolt against the regime, second only to Mahsa Amini. 

Most Iranians and foreign officials have described his execution as a futile attempt by the Islamic Republic to intimidate the people not to participate in further protests, but the propaganda stunt seems to have backfired as it has made people more determined. Many Iranians say they are now certain that if they stop the protests and strikes, more people will be killed by the regime. 


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