Friday, October 15, 2021

The Basij Expands its Activities

Nazanin Kamdar

The militia arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Basij, has joined the ranks of those groups and institutions in Iran that have their own “news agency”. As announced, the news channel aims to have “an active” presence in cyberspace with the purpose of “confronting the soft war of the enemy” and at the same time “maintain a direct communications channel with revered Basijis (militiamen) across the country and even lovers of the regime in other countries to exchange views, positions and criticism.

The announcement of the launching of the Basij news agency was made by Fars news agency, which further declared, “The launching of Basij News Agency (Khabargozarie Basij) was announced during the ninth Basij and the Media seminar by the head of the Basij organization. On the sidelines of the seminar which was held at the 13 Aban complex, general Mohammad-Reza Naghdi inaugurated the new Basij news channel.”

In its About section, the new news group presents its goal to be, “The establishment of communications between the Basij” and writes, “The Basij has been present in the scientific, cultural, artistic, economic, social, political and other spheres and has repeatedly demonstrated its loyalty to the velayat (i.e., the supremacy of the clerics in the Islamic regime) to its enemies but its efforts have unfortunately remained hidden from the public because of lack of resources and the inability of some centers affiliated to the Basij to have access to news resources, to the effect that the public views the group merely as a military force. Therefore, the Basij deputy for public relations and propaganda took the step of creating a journalists club of the Basij and following that the launching of the Basij news agency so that perhaps this tool can present some aspects of the activities of this very active community.”

The Basij, which played a key role in the violent suppression of public demonstrations and protests across Iran in 2009 following the rigged presidential elections, presents itself as “deprived” and “lacking resources” even though as of last year 0.5 percent of the gross oil income of Iran was allocated for its budget.”

In the Goals section of the site, the channel lists four specific aims: 1-active and effective presence of the Basij in cyberspace to confront the soft war of the enemy; 2-direct communication with Basijis across the country and even lovers of the regime in other countries for the purpose of exchanging views; 3-present news regarding the activities and programs of the Basij at the highest and lowest level of the organization, i.e., grass root resistance units and groups, and; 4-the presentation of the political, social, religious, cultural etc news and events of the country and other countries for the purpose of informing the Basij community and other sections of society.”

In its News section, the agency of this paramilitary groups breaks down its activities into several sections: Revolution and Holy Defense; Basij and the Guards; Social News; Cultural and Art News; Religious News; Sport News; Medical News; Political News, Provincial News; and News Related to the Body of Basij.”

In addition, the news agency also has sections for teachers Basij, mobilization (basij) of women, mobilization of the medical society, lawyers Basij, students Basij, religious chaplains Basij, high school students Basij, government workers, ethnic groups, sportsmen, artists, leaders, workers, engineers, academicians, businesses, religious students, reconstruction Basij, the national radio and television, mosques, Rahiane Noor Basij, and the organization to protect the documents of the holy defense effort. Basij in Persian means mobilization.

The most recent article that the news site has posted in the political section of site relates to the remarks made by cleric Mahdavinia in which he talks about the position of the velayate faghih (the supremacy of the clerics). He contends that the faghih – religious leader such as the supreme leader of the regime – acquires his authority from the Prophet and other Imams.

In the articles section, the site presents some material on velayate and the Ghadir event in Islamic history. It also presents aspects of the soft war including a computer online game called Takavare Libi (the Libyan combatant).

During the launching of the news agency, cleric Mohammad-Reza Tosarkani, the representative of the supreme leader in the Basij force said, “The media are divine messengers and their most important mission is to convey the message of god, something that is not seen much today.”

He added that there were 150,000 training circles across the country that regularly received training. “We do not have the network to connect the views to the body of the organization. This is not something that is exclusive to the Basij. The Basij is so effective that any country that creates it in fact insures itself. That Bashar Assad of Syria’s front is successful is because of their use of the Iranian Basij model: 30 countries are threatening Assad’s regime but his front is successful. The Basij must be defended as no other agency has as many enemies as the Basij.”

Source: Rooz Online

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