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The Widespread Arrest of Young People in Tehran Is A Sign of the Regime’s Fear of A Social Explosion
In recent days, Iran’s government has stepped up mass arrests of youth in Tehran. On 28 September, the state media reported the arrest of 389 young people in Tehran who had been arrested on charges of being ‘thugs’. These widespread arrests are nothing but making the atmosphere of the city feel more under lockdown and expanding the tour of repression.
Hossein Rahimi, the police commander of Greater Tehran, and Qassem Rezaei, the deputy commander of the NAJA, announced on 28 September, that a large-scale operation had been launched in Tehran, which began at 4 pm on 27 September and which would continue until 7 am on 28 September.
Labeling Young People as ‘Thugs’
Labeling the youth as ‘thugs’ is a well-known act of the regime, that the government uses to suppress the youth. During Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency, he called the youths ‘scoundrels’, and current President Hassan Rouhani, after the brutal suppression of the youth in November 2019, called them a bunch of saboteurs and thugs.
IRGC officer Hossein Rahimi, who was one of the commanders of repression and crimes during the November 2019 uprising, justified the recent arrests by saying that the operation was carried out at the ‘repeated request of the people’. This statement of Rahimi is just an alibi for the regime, to carry out all its crimes and repression in the name of the people and according to the will of the people.
Joint Operation of the IRGC and the Police
The arrest of 389 young people, which took place over 15 hours, is a large-scale operation by the repressive forces of the IRGC and the NAJA, which, according to them, took place in 125 neighborhoods throughout Tehran. The main purpose of such a large-scale operation is to create an atmosphere of fear and to widen the atmosphere of repression.
According to the official government media, the poverty line has reached 100 million rials [$400], and due to the increasing price of goods, meat and fruit have disappeared from the people’s table. Eggs, which have become the main food of many people, have become unattainable for many families as prices skyrocket. The price of bread has doubled since the beginning of this year and the cost of housing has increased tenfold.
The Message of Huge Uprisings
Such increasingly bitter social realities send the message of huge and fiery uprisings like the in November 2019 to the leaders of the government, prompting them to rely more and more on repression.
On 27 September, state television reported a fire in a hospital in Shiraz. “A person who had problems with his doctor to pay for a medical visit set the building on fire,” said Col. Mohammadi, the deputy police chief of Fars province.
If the Kima medical building in Shiraz is set on fire by a patient who cannot afford to pay for his treatment, it is a serious and loud alarm for the government and the regime’s rulers, and it is an alarming bell that people may soon rise up in all the cities and provinces and set fire to the places that cause them misery and oppression.
November uprising was a great lesson for the government. The lesson was that when the hidden anger of the poor, deprived, and oppressed people ignited like gunpowder, it spread rapidly to all the cities, setting fire to more than 1,000 banks and government centers overnight. This was an unforgettable lesson for the government, who are now forced to arrest and imprison the young people of the cities under the pretext of confronting the thugs and miscreants.