Fearing widespread popular uprisings, Khamenei issues orders to suppress people of Isfahan

Ali Khamenei, the mullahs' leader, issued a strongly-worded statement yesterday, revealing his fear of spreading popular uprisings in Isfahan province.

"In Isfahan province, the remnants of the Mojahedin and supporters of Mehdi Hashemi" (a relative of Mr. Montazeri, executed by the regime) "have beguiled Montazeri and turned to activities that please Israel," Khamenei said. "They harass the people and fan the flames of propaganda for their American and Zionist friends."

Stressing that he would order any unrest to be crushed, he said: "I will not allow them to disrupt the Iranian nation's security and peace in pursuit of their treacherous and petty objectives." He called on the Guards Corps and club-wielding gangs not to allow "the remnants of that disgraced group which tormented the Imam to again find an opportunity for mischief-making."

Reports from Iran say that several days ago, the regime's Supreme National Security Council held a special session, assigning the Ministry of Intelligence and the Guards Corps to the task of quelling the unrest in Isfahan province and to exert more control over the supporters of Mr. Montazeri who has openly expressed opposition to Khamenei.

In recent days, a large number of Mojahedin sympathizers, ex-prisoners and families of executed or imprisoned Mojahedin have been arrested in Isfahan and other cities in the province. In the past 19 years, several thousand Mojahedin members and supporters have been executed in Isfahan province.

To control the situation, the clerical regime has dispatched thousands of Guards and security agents as reinforcement from neighboring provinces to Isfahan to prevent the planned demonstration by Montazeri's supporters.

Mr. Massoud Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, hailed the resistant people of Isfahan. He said: Khamenei's statement today is a clear testament to the depth of the crisis and ever increasing weakness of the mullahs to confront expanding popular protests. Mr. Rajavi called on the people in other cities to rise in support of the people in Isfahan who are facing an onslaught by the medieval ruling regime.

The NCR President urged international human rights organizations to condemn the brutal suppression of people of Isfahan and Najafabad, and intervene immediately to save the lives of those arrested.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
May 25, 1998

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