Basij … One of the striking forces within the Iranian regime

Basij … One of the striking forces within the Iranian regime

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Iranian regime take to consolidate his rule and to spread “Iranian revolution” outside the geographical boundaries  arms that are obvious  for every one, and perhaps the most important of these arms  is the forces of popular mobilization or “Basij”  and form a parallel army  to excel  in its influence on the regular armed forces, and has an internal influence as important as the external role. Basij (Persian: Basij) “means  mobilization ” or “popular mobilization forces”  and they are a paramilitary force made up of civilian volunteers from both males and females.

Popular mobilization forces  , the paramilitary known as  “Basij”(ie”, volunteers)founded at the end of 1979  following the success of the Iranian revolution led by religious leader Khomeini, which called for the establishment of ” an army of twenty million man” to protect the revolution and its  political and religious system, thus this security organization  was founded of his loyal supporters. The researchers point out that the Basij forces are not only upgraded version of the party founded by the Shah of Iran ,Mohammad Reza Pahlavi , and called it “Rastakhiz” (meaning the Baath or Renaissance), and wanted it to be  a solid popular base   to protect his ruling system  and penetration in the joints of the community . But Khomeini  performed the work which was already tried by the shah  in the more intelligent way , since what distinguished the Basij forces is that they came organically related to the body of the Iranian army , which consisted of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Brigades of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, all of which are of trained   military and combat personnel .

And during the Iran – Iraq war between 1980 and 1988,  the During the Iraq- Iran war between 1980-1988, the task assigned to  Basij forces of breaking into minefields   to pave the way for the regular troops that were following it, and according to Iranian sources that the Basij has mobilized two million people during the war , a quarter of them had served  on the battlefield. After the end of war , members of the Basij have become  representing the  power they use it to curb the hostile  behavior of the Islamic regime (moral police), and the suppression of political  gatherings  opposing  to him, and to help regular police forces in policing at the outbreak of major security incidents that  are more that its power, according to the law enacted by the Iranian Shura Council (parliament) late 1992 to organize policing tasks undertaken by the Basij.

Militia of  “Basij” has  three levels of membership:  «Basij» egular , «Basij» site, and «Basij» Special or honorary guard. According to the law “to the list of work to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard,” which was approved by parliament on October 13, 1991, the members of «Basij» the site and «Basij» Special are receiving their salaries from the «Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps». The members of the «Basij» the site was paid for the time they spend on specific projects – four million riyals, or $ 400 per day according to some sources, which is more than the monthly salary of a teacher. And members of the «Basij» Special are employed full-time and receive a monthly salary . the members of the units «Basij» in the areas of special branches can be joined to special branches  such as «Basij»  workers and «Basij» student, which was founded to provide a balance with the corresponding civil society organizations.

The process of employment in «Basij»  was done under the supervision of “the entrusted religious men of the neighborhoods and the citizens  and the legislative associations  in the neighborhoods,” according to the official system of the Pasig. In other words, the local mosque, which is located in the «Basij» Center  enjoys the decisive saying  in accepting applicants to the armed wing of the militia. As  members of this wing  were employed for the service and full membership in the «Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps». The other branches, such as «Basij» student, they are likely to pursue policies to recruit less restrictive, and even if the only purpose is to provide statistics on the continuous  rise  to the Supreme authorities.

In the unique monitoring  of the Basij militia ,  the book ”  the society    a prisoner ”  by  the writer Saeed Golkar,   the frst author presents an integrated study of the Iranian Basij Organization  and the  pervasive role in the  secrecies  of centers of political  decision and  community structure  in Iran. The book presents an objective and comprehensive study of the organizational structure of the Organization of the Basij, and social and political background of its members, and the political, military and ideological training , which are subject to it , and their planned security role , and mechanism of  propaganda pursued by the Organization to suppress the Iranian society .

Julkar- says, a former university professor in Tehran University during the year 2004 who had arrived in the United States in 2010 to pursue his scientific research as a post – doctoral degree at Stanford University : “It is expected that one Iranian student    out of every three students can be an active member and trainer in  the Basij militia, and this goes back to the law in force in Iran allocates 40% of university seats for members of the militia . ” the book  of Golkar confirms that this organization is among the most influential organizations in the political and social life in Iran, a militia funded directly and officially  by the state in Iran .

Golkar asserts in his book that most  members of the Basij militia are the children of the  rural  poor, who found the organization a source of privileges denied to them, as well as the easiest way to get a steady income, and belonging to the university too easily . He said while most of those who participated in the Green Movement in 2009 were   residents of large cities, while rural people were away from participating in the ranks of the most prominent Iranian uprising on the mullahs, we find that most associate to the Basij militia are the children of the  rural poor  . ”

Golkar proves in his book by statistics and numbers on the space of prevalence of the Basij and its ability to develop Iranian society prisoners of it    -as indicates by the title of the book – is larger than expected by the majority of scholars and specialists of the Iranian affairs, and is marketed in this  context as a comparison metaphor as follows: there are  12 thousand Starbucks in the United States and 22 thousand around the world, and in return we have in Iran alone , more than fifty thousand base and the Office of the Basij militia.He continues , “While bringing the number of members of the Basij (R. 4 E.) five million members, we find that 65% of employees in the state and one of every three students are active members of the security organization .”

While  fixed salaries are paid for the  working staff  and specialists members  in the organization, Associate Members receive numerous privileges, including financial bonuses and soft loans and discounts on religious trips to visit the holy cities . Basij is just an upgraded version of the party founded by the Shah , and called it”Rastakhiz” the name means Baath or Renaissance, but what distinguished the Basij is that it came organically related to the body of the Iranian army, which consisted of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Brigades of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, all of which are of trained , military and combat personnel . The Basij commander Mohammad Reza Nkadi- who took office in the year 2009 – appointed directly  according to an order issued  from the Imam Khamenei ‘s office, at the suggestion of the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard , Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari .

Volunteers of Basij militia confirm  on every occasion arises for them  their loyalty to the Supreme Leader( Murshed) of the revolution and condemn always the enemies of the revolution at home and abroad, which indicates the nature of the goals and tasks assigned to them, it ‘s to protect the revolution system and address of all that affects the prestige internally and externally. On the inside Basij  undertakes the repression of political opponents, as happened when the students organized pro-reformist trend protest rallies in the Iranian universities in 2002 and raised some demands “reform”; the Supreme Leader(Murshed) Ali Khamenei threatened to call “popular forces (ie Basij) to suppress any disturbances , ”  what it was actually occurred  leading to clashes when the Basij  tried to break up the gatherings of students. In  2009 the Basij forces came down strongly and intensity to the Iranian streets to suppress tens of thousands of demonstrators who refused the results of the presidential election that year and  fired at them live bullets , killing some of them, which ultimately led to the suspension of their protests , which was known as the “green movement” and is considered a prominent  popular uprising  on clerical rule in Iran.

; And abroad , Basij forces intervened to protect Iranian interests in Iraq under the pretext of “protecting the holy places , ” and participated in “advisory missions” with the Iraqi army and fought with it multiple battles against the organization of the Islamic state, especially after the fall of Mosul and in the battle of Fallujah in 2016 in which the former commander   for “Ashura Brigades”  in the Basij Alireza Babaei. Was killed  They also raided the Saudi embassy and  consulate in Tehran and Mashhad in January of this year on the back of executions  of the Saudi Arabia  theSaudi Shiite  dissident  Nimr  al Nimr.

As thousands of Basij forces have been  sent to Syria , where many of its members were killed among the top military Iranians  killed in Syria who were providing military support to the regime of Bashar al – Assad after the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in the  mid -March      2011 and fought with him  the Syrian armed factions side by side with other Shiite militias most notably the Lebanese Hezbollah. In this context, the Army Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri pointed out, on the sidelinesof the festival  ,”Malik Ashtar Mobilization”  which was organized in the last November 24 , to the possibility of sending a militia ” the mobilization” (Basij) to the  “fronts of resistance” in reference to Syria specifically, in the case of whether  they got the green light from the Supreme leader(Murshed) Ali Khamenei. The presence of “Basij” forces in Syria emphasize the role of the Iranian regime in the identification of potential tracks for the  Syrian conflict , considering that those militias that support Assad ‘s forces acting on the instructions from Tehran, similar to the “Hezbullah” and so – called “Brigade of the Fatimids” and “Brigade Zeinbeyen ” and perhaps militia of ” popular crowd “at some point after the end of the battle to liberate Mosul in Iraq.

In a sign of the depth and the multiplicity of Foreign roles assigned to these forces; Supreme Leader of the revolution (Murshed), Khamenei   in a November 27, 2014, said during a meeting with leaders and officials in Albasij – that Iran “has become a non-defeat state  because of a thought and the work of the Basiji  that arrived in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and Gaza, and will arrive in Jerusalem soon. ”

The Iranian agency of  the Student News quoted in the early 2014, about the commander of the Basij forces, Gen. Mohammad Reza  Naqdi (with Iraqi  origins ) as saying that his country intends to establish units of his organization in Jordan and Egypt after it has experienced the experience of its formation  in Palestine and Lebanon , and “the growing of the Iranian dominance  components in the region coincides with the decline of the  US dominance in it  since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. ”

In the same context; Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard – in the late of 2014, said on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the founding of Albasij- The ” the thought of  Basij  has been  spread throughout the Muslim world and the resistance groups in Palestine and Lebanon, in line with Iran’s strategy.”

So Basij is one of the most influential entities in the Iranian state and   society  and it has  great influence in the political, economic, security and community life within the Iranian regime as  it is its military striking  tool   to protect  its interests at the internal and external level. 


Rawabet Center for  Research and Strategic Studies