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IRGC Ground Force Commandos in Pictures – TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Special unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Ground Force include skillful handpicked members
On the morning of September 8, a number of missiles were launched against the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) in the town of Koya, 300km north of Iraq’s capital, Baghdad.
Reports indicate that 13 people were killed while many more were injured, some in critical condition.
On the same day, three young Kurd political prisoners, Ramin Hossein Panahi, and Loghman and Zaniar Moradi were executed in Karaj’s Rajaie Shahr Prison.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps took responsibility for the missile attack, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani thanked the Guards.
These acts of terrorism and brutality led to widespread condemnation by international human rights organizations and raised various questions, including why the regime had committed such a crime in these critical times.
Iran’s need for a show of strength
Iran claimed that the missiles were launched from an area around Orumieh in Iran but according to other sources, including Bas News, after an American team investigated the attack, they discovered that the missiles were launched from 20 to 40 km away from the target area via missile platforms in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq.
A few hours earlier, the Iranian government hanged three Kurdish political prisoners, Ramin Hossein Panahi, 24, Zaniar Moradi, 30, and Loghman Moradi, 32, in Rajaie Shahr Prison in Karaj. The three prisoners were executed while on a hunger strike they had started a few days before. Zaniar and Loghman had been in jail for more than nine years while Ramin had been detained 14 months ago.
After their execution, their bodies were buried by agents in secret without any ceremony.
According to Reuters “the executions took place despite a call on Friday for them to be halted by two U.N. human rights special rapporteurs, Javaid Rehman and Agnes Callamard, who said in a statement that the men had not been given a fair trial”.
“Iran has one of the world’s highest execution rates. According to Amnesty International, 51 percent of all recorded executions in 2017 were carried out in Iran”.
Agnes Callamard, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, called the execution of Rahim Hossein Panahi “despicable” adding that “no words of condemnation will be strong enough”.
Foreign policy expert Walid Phares called the executions a war crime, adding that the Iranian regime would be held accountable by the international community.
Three #KurdishIranians political prisoners, #RaminHosseinPanahi, #LoghmanMoradi & #ZanyarMoradi were executed this morning at #RajaiShahr Prison in #Iran. Their execution is a war crime. The #IranRegime will be held accoutable by the international community. pic.twitter.com/2IvtS2CWVU
— Walid Phares (@WalidPhares) September 8, 2018
November 4 oil sanctions looming
On September 6, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went to India to talk to his counterpart about Iran’s oil imports.
“We will consider waivers where appropriate but that it is our expectation that the purchases of Iranian crude oil will go to zero from every country or sanctions will be imposed”, he told the press after the meeting.
With November 4 fast approaching as the start of the US led oil sanctions against Iran, Iranian leaders especially Khamenei are struggling to achieve the following goals:
• Bypass oil sanctions by signing contracts with countries such as India, China and other Asian countries
• Prevent the waves of regime deserters including from the paramilitary Basij forces and IRGC who are terrified of the fragile state of the regime.
• Increase internal repression by arresting protesters. Execute political prisoners to create an atmosphere of fear and to continue to rule with an iron grip to prevent increasing protests.
Western media are currently involved in a heated debate on whether Iran can counter or bypass economic restrictions but as we near the start of the sanctions, it’s becoming more obvious that this would be an impossible task for Iran.
The fear of suppressive forces deserting the government and their frustration with the current condition of the regime can be seen in all of Khamenei’s recent speeches.
In a September 6 meeting with the Assembly of Experts, Khamenei noted that the conditions were sensitive and critical.
“The most important duty in the current critical situation is to move towards maintaining and deepening the coherence of the people with government agencies and avoiding the creation of an atmosphere of despair and hopelessness and a feeling (that we’re in a) deadlock”, he said.
Suppressing dissent is one of the main characteristics of the Islamic Republic of Iran which it will continue until its last day in power. But the real question is whether the Iranian people will let the regime survive after 40 years of suffering as a result of injustice, suppression and poverty.