The Wednesday issue of the state-run daily Ressalat, quoting Brig. Gen. Hedayatollah Lotfian, the commander of the State Security Forces, wrote with regard to the Saturday mortar attack on the palaces of Khamenei and Rafsanjani in Tehran's top-security zone: "Tehran is afflicted with acute security problems."
The state television announced yesterday: "Major urban defense exercises were held simultaneously in Kermanshah and other towns and cities in the province by 38,000 members of (the paramilitary) Bassij forces organized in 36 Ashoura and Al-Zahra battalions. They were aided by Revolutionary Guards of the 4th Be'ssat Division and carried out joint exercises aimed at defending city districts and capturing sensitive locations in the city. The aim was to maintain the readiness and cohesion of Bassij forces to face any possible threat by the enemy."
The state television also announced that "six Bassij divisions in the form of 18 operational brigades made up of 49 Ashoura and 10 Al-Zahra battalions and a modern-warfare battalion" carried out a series of exercises in the city of Shiraz in southern Iran. The aim of the exercises was "to show the strength of the popular forces at critical times to defend the existence of the Islamic Republic."
In the northeastern province of Semnan, Revolutionary Guards and Bassij forces conducted "a major exercise to defend local districts."
In the west Tehran county of Shahryar "a combined force of the State Security Forces, Bassij and Revolutionary Guards embarked on exercises across the county." The local governor told the media that the objective was to "increase the security of the county."
In the southwestern province of Khuzistan, the 25th Commando Brigade of the mullahs' army conducted a land-air maneuver codenamed "Badr-1" near the Iran-Iraq border. Brig. Gen. Reza Moradi said the exercises were aimed at "providing security... and putting into operation our plans to counter threats of attacks by regular or irregular units of the enemy with the help of the Army's rapid deployment forces."
Revolutionary Guards of the 16th Qods (Jerusalem) Division carried out similar "urban exercises" in the northern city of Rasht, while the Guards' naval units launched maneuvers in the southern ports of Mahshahr and Bushehr.
In Tehran, the Guards' Sarollah HQ, assigned to the suppression of antigovernment protests and upheavals in the capital, staged extensive maneuvers with the aim of "countering any act of rioting of a political or social nature."
The 27th and the 10th divisions of the Revolutionary Guards, as well as units of the State Security Forces and the Guards' paramilitary Bassij forces, took part in the maneuvers.
The avowed objectives of these maneuvers clearly reveal their suppressive nature and the mullahs' fears of fresh outbreaks of uprisings and antigovernment protests.
In addition to these urban maneuvers, the clerical regime's army has been conducting two 20-day military exercises in west and southwest Iran and sending troops to these areas in war games named "the Leader's Sword." The mullahs' army described the maneuvers as "unprecedented and unrivaled" and all its forces in the region have been placed on high alert. Senior army commanders told the state-run media that the principal objective of the exercises was to counter the Mojahedin and the Iranian Resistance "in the western and southern border areas of the country."
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
February 10, 2000