Brig. Gen. Gholamreza Soleimani commander of the Basij. (Fars)

January 8, 2022

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) has announced plans to set up Basij paramilitary bases in about 11,000 neighborhoods across the country by March 2023.

The head of the Basij Organization, under the command of the IRGC, said that there are 50,000 neighborhoods in the country, therefore when the plan – dubbed Islamic neighborhoods – is implemented, Basij will have active presence in about one-fifth of the neighborhoods all over Iran.

The move is a measure to strengthen internal security in the country, by establishing control over residents in these neighborhoods.

Brig. Gen. Gholamreza Soleimani commander of the Basij made the remarks during a Thursday meeting in Shahrekord, where a memorial statue of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Qods Force, was set on fire on Wednesday.

Soleimani added that the neighborhood patrols scheme has been carried out in about 800 locations so far, and Basij is ready to provide support for all the mosques that would join the project.

The Basij commander was sanctioned by the US and the Council of Euopre in 2021 for his role in the violent crackdown during the bloody November 2019 protests.

The Basij is a paramilitary force of mostly young volunteers, who receive benefits. Its members usually go through limited training to serve as an auxiliary force in local security and enforcing state control over society through suppressing demonstrations and gathering intelligence.

Iran International

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Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.