Inside The Mind Of Iran's Basij
rferl / Golnaz Esfandiari

All my fellow [Basij] had come. Some were on motorbikes. The little and simple equipment of the Basij is more efficient than armies. We put everything in the van and went while chanting: “Ali, Ali” [eds: Shi’a first imam and son in law and cousin of the Prophet Mohammad]. The [Basij members] were all in very good spirits. Someone said, let’s say Salawat [a prayer] for the health of the Hidden Imam. One member said Salawat for the health of Imam Khamenei and the annihilation of the sedition [eds: Green Movement]. Another said Salawat for the guidance of the seditionists.

We reached the [base]. Everything was secret. We were the only one who knew about it, [along with] the locals, cars that were passing by, and finally foreign spies!!! We were supposed to have lunch and wait until they told us where to go. After waiting -- which has become routine for the Basij -- the commander talked to us and gave us some old advice. When he was about to leave, everyone shouted, “What happened to lunch?!” and at the same moment the deployment order came. After some preparation they started distributing some snacks. I didn’t receive any Sandis and cake, we didn’t even get straws that we could poke into opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi’s eyes. [eds: Snacks and drinks, including Sandis juices, were reportedly distributed at some progovernment demonstrations, prompting the opposition to say participants and Basij members only go to these events for the refreshments.] >>>

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