Iran Hopes

A Weblog on Iranian Affairs (Formerly Iran Votes 2005)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

"Partow Sokhan", a hardliner Iranian monthly, has published an advertisement for volunteers to carry out suicide bombings against "enemies of Islam". The monthly belongs to Ayatollah Messbah Yazdi an ultra-hardliner cleric. He is a thoerist for violent Islam and also a key supporter of Ahmadinejad.

Recruting suicide bombers (called volunteers for martyrdom), officially started in the late 2004, is becoming growingly appealing to some within the circle of power of the Islamic regime. It is claimed that 'thousands of volunteers' have registered since last year. This is despite the fact such a move has been categorically rejected by the majority of Iranians as 'un-Iranian', 'anti-Islamic', and 'in line with the strategies of al-Qaeda (whom are regarded even by the ruling clerics as the enemies of Shi'a and Islam).

What objectives would advertisements such as the one just mentioned satisfy? A major purpose of such moves, it seems , is to send a warning to the US that if they attack Iran, there are people ready to sacrifice their lives not only in the battlefield where the actual war would take place, but all around the world. Thus, Messbah and his followers including Ahmadinejad and even Khamenei himself believe that suicide bombers will be able to protect their regime and their Islam (it says in the ad that the purpose for those recruitements is to protect the foundation of the Islamic Republic and Islam - not Iran as a nation). The same justification is offered for the regime's insistence on acquiring nuclear power. But what the regime seems to disregard is that spreading the ideas of terror and violence will eventually lead to the end of its own existence. There are troubling reports of violence against the Iranian police and security forces from Khuzestan and Western Azarbaijan. Three policemen were killed during the unrests in the Kurdish areas near the Iran-Turkey border.

But is it surprising that those people who have for long been treated by the regime as second-class citizens because of their ethnic or religious background have now turned to violence as means to oppose the Islamic regime whose official strategy in dealing with every crisis has been to use violence and terror? Besides, the likes of Messbah may count on suicide bombers to protect them against 'foreign' threats. But what will they do to confront the domestic threats that are dividing the nation apart?

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