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Iran’s Death Squads – Iran paramilitary riot police killing and beating dissidents, including children, shooting into crowds of protesters – arresting those who disagree with election results and confiscating laptops, cellphones, cameras, journalists and those who worked in election campaigns of other Iranian candidates in the recent rigged and fraudulent election . . .

Basij –

http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/world/iran/basij.htm

The Basij Resistance Force appeared to be undergoing something of a revival under the administration of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. This could be connected with the organization’s alleged role in securing votes for Ahmadinejad during the presidential campaign and on election day. Ahmadinejad appointed Hojatoleslam Heidar Moslehi, the supreme leader’s representative to the Basij, as an adviser in mid-August 2005. But the revival — along with changes in the paramilitary organization’s senior leadership — could also be connected with preparations for possible civil unrest. In late September 2005, the Basij staged a series of urban defense exercises across the country. General Mirahmadi, the first deputy commander of the Basij, announced in Tehran that the creation of 2,000 Ashura battalions within the Basij will enhance Iran’s defensive capabilities. Ashura units have riot-control responsibilities.

{excerpt from above site – there’s much more on this page of interest}

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Originally consisting of those males “either too crippled or old for regular military service,”[2] the Basij are perhaps most famous for providing the volunteers that made up the human wave attacks against the Iraqis during the Iran–Iraq War, particularly around Basra.[1] Currently Basij serve as an auxiliary force engaged in activities such as law enforcement, emergency management, the providing of social service, organizing of public religious ceremonies, and more controversially morals policing and the suppression of dissident gatherings.[3][4] They have a local organization in almost every city in Iran.[5]

The Basij are subordinate to, and receive their orders from, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

[ . . . ]

At least originally the Basij was open to those below the age of 18 and above the age of 45, and all women. The militia were an important factor during the Iran–Iraq War (1980-1988). In that war, huge numbers of teen-age Basijis were sacrificed on the minefields, believing that they were holy martyrs and chanting songs about the Battle of Karbala, in which the Imam Hussein, the greatest Shi’ite martyr, was tortured and killed. By the spring of 1983 the Basij had trained 2.4 million Iranians in the use of arms and sent 450,000 to the front.[6] After the war, the Basij was reorganized and gradually developed into one of the Islamic regime’s “primary guarantors of domestic security.” [7]

Organization

The Basij has a quasi-decentralised network with branches in almost every Iranian mosque.[8] Subgroupings of the Basij include the University Basij, Student Basij, and the former tribal levies incorporated into the Basij (aka Tribal Basij). In the Student Basij, Middle-school-aged members are called Seekers (Puyandegan), and high-school members are called the Vanguard (Pishgaman).[9]

The current commander of the Basij is Hasan Taeb.[7] The first deputy commander General Mirahmadi was formally installed on 4 September 2005. The Tehran commander is Seyyed Mohammad Haj Aqamir. The deputy Basij commander for Tehran, General Ahmad Zolqadr, was formally installed on 5 September 2005; the new Basij commander in Tabriz, Brigadier General Mohammad Yusef Shakeri, on 29 September 2005. [9]

According to Radio Free Europe, the “backbone” of the Basij comprises 2,500 Al-Zahra battalions (all women) and Ashura battalions (male), numbering 300–350 personnel each. The IRGC aims to arm 30 percent of these battalions with semi-heavy and heavy weapons. However, all members of the battalions are trained to use light arms and rifles. [7] In addition, since 2007 the Basij have established “30,000 new combat cells, each of them 15-20 members strong, named Karbala and Zolfaqar”. The cells “cooperate closely” or in emergency situations are “controlled by” the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (Also known as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or IRGC). [7] [10]

Quds Force

The Ghods Force (Persian: نیروی قدس, translit. Niru-ye Ghods), (or Qods Force) is a special unit of Iran‘s Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution. The Federation of American Scientists, in a document from 1998, says the primary mission of the Ghods Force is to organize, train, equip, and finance foreign Islamic revolutionary movements. It further states that the Ghods Force maintains and builds contacts with underground Islamic militant organizations throughout the Islamic world.[1]

The Ghods Force reports directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.[2][3] Its current commander is Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani.[4]

[ . . . ]

Focus of the Force

The Quds force has three main areas of interest:

  1. Hezbollah operations in Lebanon
  2. Iraqi Kurdistan
  3. Kashmir, the Balouch and Afghanistan

In the past the Quds force has also supported the establishment of Hezbollah branches in Jordan and Palestine.

Size

The size of Quds Force is unknown, with some experts believing that Quds Force numbers no more than 2,000 people, with 800 core operatives, and others saying that it could number anywhere from 3,000 to 50,000.[11][12][13]

Independence and talent

While it reports directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran, there are debates over how independently Quds Force operates.[11]

Mahan Abedin, director of research at the London-based Center for the Study of Terrorism (and editor of Islamism Digest journal), believes the unit is not independent at all: “Quds Force, although it’s a highly specialized department, it is subject to strict, iron-clad military discipline. It’s completely controlled by the military hierarchy of the IRGC, and the IRGC is very tightly controlled by the highest levels of the administration in Iran.”[14]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basij

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quds_Force

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(from 2007 – )

Who’s Behind Iran’s Death Squad?
Iran’s Secret Agents Answer to a Higher Power
Feb. 14, 2007

The Quds force, meaning Jerusalem force, is, in effect, a group of secret agents and hit men who answer only to the religious authority of the Iranian government.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

What U.S. officials do know, and have known for years, is that the Quds force is under the control of the country’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not Iran’s president.

“Quds force reports directly to the Supreme Ayatollah, through the commander-in-chief of the revolutionary guards,” Richard Clarke, a former U.S. counterterrorism official and now ABC News consultant, explained. “So it is possible that the ministers in the Iranian government don’t know what the Quds force is doing.”

The U.S. says it has conclusive evidence that the Quds force is moving lethal roadside bombs into Iraq that killed at least 170 U.S. troops.

And U.S. officials say Quds force members have been taken into custody in Iraq, suspected of funding and training Shiite militias.

“They are the trained killers; they are the special forces,” Clarke told ABC News.

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/BrianRoss/story?id=2876019&page=1

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My Note –

Apparently the government of Iran doesn’t believe they need a middle class in that country . . .

But U.S. officials say there’s no doubt that the Quds force has long had American blood on its hands, linking them to the 1983 attacks in Beirut on the U.S. embassy and marine barracks, as well as the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, and a series of assassinations of Iranian dissidents in Europe.

“The cream of the fundamentalist crop are the people who really get recruited into the Quds Force,” Roya Hakakian of the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University explained.

(excerpt from above article and link)

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