Sunday, December 6, 2009

Basij commander allegedly shoots Tehran traffic control chief in the foot

Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, the new head of the Basij militia, shot the Tehran traffic control chief, Hojjatollah Behrouz, in the foot at a crisis meeting on Tuesday, December 1, according to opposition web sites.

The meeting had been called to prepare for opposition plans to bring Tehran automobile traffic to a halt on December 7, Student Day in Iran, at 5 PM. The opposition, particularly students, are expected to hold mass protests throughout the country on that day.

opposition poster
The Basij commander allegedly pulled out his sidearm during a heated exchange with Behrouz and shot him in the foot, according to an e-mail reproduced on opposition web sites. The e-mail purports to be from a journalist in a reformist newspaper. Some reports claim the journalist belongs to the editorial staff of Aftabeh Yazd daily and that the newspaper's editor-in-chief has decided not to publish the news in tomorrow's edition.

Senior IRGC officers and traffic control directors attended the emergency meeting held on Tuesday, according to a participant, to discuss ways to counter deliberate disruptions in Tehran's automobile traffic on December 7. Tempers rose when traffic control chief Behrouz apparently told Naghdi that it would be impossible to neutralize such efforts if they were widespread.

'This news has been reported through several channels [...] and it appears to be true,' said Mohsen Sazegara, a founder of the IRGC and currently a dissident in Washington, in his daily video address on Sunday (starts at 5:03 mark):

'At a meeting held at the traffic control center in Tehran's City hall, Mr. Hojjatollah Behrouz said that his office and Tehran's City Hall did not have the capability to control people who were planning to block traffic by coming out into the streets with their cars on December 7,' says Sazegara in the video. 'General Naghdi [...], with his corrupt record, apparently lost his temper and shot Mr. Behrouz in the foot and sent him to the hospital.'


  1. Two things come to mind. One, it's my understanding that Nagdi's official position is within the General Command Headquarters, not the IRGC. (He wears an olive military staff uniform, rather than the dark green worn by the IRGC.)

    Second, shooting someone in the foot with a sidearm is actually harder than it sounds. What's more, it's very unusual for an Iranian Brigadier General of any rank to wear a holstered sidearm in public.

    Some of the info coming from reform sources really needs some kind of confirmation. This is just a single case of many.

  2. Amazing story Homylayatte. This has several very interesting implications. There is tremendous tension and anxiety now seeping into the regime's mid-level operatives, at least in Tehran. This is a direct result of the power of the civil rights and freedom movement in Iran. If this story can get widely distributed it would be very heartening for the green movement and people. The message needs to get out far and wide, especially in that we now know that traffic protests are effective.

  3. it is a fucking lie, how can you shoot someone in a meeting and walk out freely? something stinks.

  4. Thx for the comment Mark. I'll take your word about the difficulty of shooting someone in the foot. I think you're right about Naghdi having been with the general command, but I believe that the Basij is now a part of the IRGC ground forces. However, I'll bow to your expertise, since your profile shows you're a military buff.