In the final stage of a drill by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Basij forces ran a mock confrontation with rebels in the streets of Tehran in a preparation drill to deal with so-called “city disturbances.”
The Fars News Agency reported that on Friday the rapid-response section of the Basij forces carried out drills in eight parts of the city to “confront threats to security and carry out hostage-release operations and they ended the exercise with a parade on motorbikes.”
The IRGC has been running drills since Thursday at a location in eastern Tehran referred to as “resistance village” in the presence of top IRGC commanders and the governor of Tehran.
IRGC Commander Mohsen Kazemini has told reporters that the drills are aimed at “demonstrating the organization and strength of Basij forces in responding to threats” as well as a “response to the Zionist insults to the Prophet of Islam.”
A recent film on YouTube that mocks the Prophet Mohammad has caused widespread protests in Muslim countries and attracted the condemnation of many Muslim leaders across the globe.
Kazemini insisted that the drills had no connection to the coming presidential election in June of 2013.
The 2009 presidential election was followed by widespread street protests over allegations of vote fraud. Basij forces were instrumental in cracking down on protesters and ending more than a year of street demonstrations.