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Iran: Regime officials deeply concerned of upcoming national “Fire Festival”

Iran’s national “Fire Festival” is celebrated each year on the last Tuesday night of the Iranian calendar year. These festivals will be marked this year on March 19, 2019. (File Photo)
Iran’s national “Fire Festival” is celebrated each year on the last Tuesday night of the Iranian calendar year. These festivals will be marked this year on March 19, 2019. (File Photo)

Iran, March 16, 2019 - As the national Fire Festival nears for Iran, senior police and judiciary officials are increasing their oppressive threats in a desperate attempt to prevent the Iranian people from turning these festivities into anti-regime protests. These remarks also indicate how senior regime officials are paving the path for nationwide crackdown measures.

Hossein Rahimi, head of state police in Tehran, expressed concerns over the possibility of these festivities evolving into major protests and uprisings.

“If individuals intend to disrupt the people’s peace and security during the Fire Festival, along with disrupting public order, the police will take decisive action,” he said in an interview on Friday. “Those who disrupt public order with their vehicles will see their cars pounded during the Nowruz (Iranian calendar New Year) holidays and held by the police.”

Ayub Soleimani, the mullahs’ deputy police chief, weighed in and further reflected the regime’s growing concerns.

“Other entities and apparatuses are involved in this regard. The police has begun its measures for some time now. We will definitely take action. We are even informed that some groups have issued calls for protests. We are monitoring their moves and have issued orders to the provinces to be careful of individuals seeking to disrupt public peace and take advantage of these circumstances,” he said to the media.

Ali Akbar Javidan, head of state police in Golestan Province, northern Iran, also issued his own share of threats.

“The Golestan police has launched its New Year drills and all the special units, town police and police stations will be on high alert… The [PMOI/MEK] and other dissidents have always attempted to reach their own objectives during this time of the year. To maintain public order we will be dispatching the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Basij paramilitary units along with other police units,” he said.

The regime’s public prosecutor of Ardabil Province in northern Iran warned stores that their measures will also be monitored.

“With the Fire Festival around the corner, monitoring measures over stores have increased and provincial representatives will continue analyzing the status quo, and carry out unannounced and continuous inspections. We will also take action against even the slightest violation,” he warned.

In Isfahan Province, central Iran, the police warned disruptors will be held in custody until the end of the New Year holidays.

“We have adequate coordination for collaboration with the Isfahan public prosecutor to maintain individuals who disrupt public order during the Fire Festival in custody until the end of the New Year holiday season,” said Isfahan police chief Masoum Beigi.

Ali Asghar Eftekhari, head of cyber-police in Hormozgan Province, southern Iran, shed light on similar actions.

“Police measures have begun in cyberspace by identifying websites active in providing instructions on how to make explosive material and selling these items on the internet, and to have judiciary cases launched for those behind these measures. Families should be careful of their children,” he said.

Considering all the threats and warnings, the mullahs’ concerns over the Fire Festival this year have reached a point that even Mohammad Bat’haee, the regime’s Minister of Education, also voiced his concerns.

“I participated in the drills held to establish readiness to confront fire threats and preventing such incidents during the end of the year Fire Festivities, and joined the ‘No to the Dangerous Fire Festivities’ challenge,” he said in his ridiculous remarks, further emphasizing the regime’s escalating concerns.

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