Tehran, Iran, Jul. 11 - With the arrival of a top commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as the country’s new police chief, Iran’s state-run media announced a new summer-long crackdown on “social vice” in Tehran targeting in particular young women and runaway girls.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed on Saturday Brigadier General Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, the number two in the paramilitary Bassij and commander of the force in Greater Tehran, as Iran’s new chief of police.
A senior security official told one of Iran’s state-run news agencies, ISNA, that “mal-veiled or unveiled individuals inside and outside of cars” would be the target of arrests by Iran’s State Security Forces, the paramilitary police force.
SSF in Tehran would also be on the lookout for “open examples of corruption in tourist and recreation resorts”.
The top official said the police would embark on a systematic clampdown on “shops and public places where public chastity and Islamic values are ignored”. Loud music will no longer be tolerated, he said.
Runaway girls and homeless young women would also be the target of arrests, and Tehran’s police force would also identify and crack down on places where “corrupt people gather”, the report added.
The appointment of Ahmadi Moghaddam, who is among the top commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and a protege of IRGC Commandant General Rahim Safavi, brings the country’s police force under the complete domination of the Revolutionary Guards and signals a readiness to crack down harder on what the ultra-conservatives see as “deviation” from the country’s rigid religious laws.
Moghaddam was quoted by the state-run daily Kayhan as saying in November 2004, “A country where liberal ideas rule will get no where”.
200 police conduct midnight raid in northwest Iran city park
Thu. 14 Jul 2005
Tabriz, Iran, Jul. 14 – At least 200 agents of Iran’s State Security Forces on Monday conducted a midnight raid in the central park in Tabriz, northwest Iran, according to eye-witness accounts.
“At one in the morning, more than 200 of the regime’s security forces were brought to Baghe Golestan Park in their cars and they started arresting anyone in sight”, said one eye-witness, who requested anonymity.
Another eye-witness described seeing at least 70 SSF cars approach the vicinity of the area around the part. “Out of nowhere suddenly we saw at least 70 police cars close off the vicinity of the park”.
“They started to attack everyone there”, he added.
Local news on the state-controlled television later described the raid as part of “ongoing efforts to root out drug addicts”, but witnesses described the violent attacks on locals as part of a new wave of crackdown to suppress social decent.
The first witness went on to explain that he saw the SSF detain passers-by including someone taking out his trash.