A statement issued late Thursday night and purporting to be from members of the Islamic Republic of Iran's military strongly warns elements within the Revolutionary Guards against continuing their crackdown on the Iranian people.
Initially posted on the Gouya News site, a usually dependable source, the statement quickly spread across the Internet. It was read last night by protesters in Paris:
In Iran, the term armed forces or 'nirouhayeh mossalah' includes the three usual branches of the military -- army, navy, and air force -- and also the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). To complicate matters, the IRGC also has ground forces, a navy, and an air force (plus the Ghods force and the Basij). I employ the term 'the military' -- artesh in the statement -- to refer to the regular army, air force, and navy.
The veracity of source of the statement cannot be confirmed. However, some elements in the text are noteworthy. Why did the author(s) not include navy personnel in the list of signatories? Why were training staff and professors included in the list of signatories? Why are distinct organizations, locations, and staffs included in the details?
Has the regime identified these places as hotbeds of dissent and is it issuing this statement in order to justify future purges? It does not seem credible, for example, that dissenting professors at the Imam Ali University for officers, which has a relatively limited number of professors, would so clearly identify themselves.
Or is the statement really issued by military personnel?
The following is a translation of the text:
In the name of pure God (NB Instead of the Arabic Allah, the word Yazdan is used. Yazdan is derived from the ancient Iranian language of Pahlavi. This may indicate that the author(s) of the statement are more patriotic than religious. It may also indicate that the author(s) want to target military personnel who are more patriotic than religious.)
The military is the refuge of the nation
In the years of the Sacred Defense (NB The Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988) when, alongside our Revolutionary Guards brothers, we defended this land, we were in reality defending the honor and dignity and lives and possessions of the Iranian people. The country is precious because the Iranian nation is precious. The weapons of the Revolutionary Guards and the military must be employed in the service of this nation and the lives [of their servicemen] should be sacrificed for the people of Iran. In the days when, alongside our Revolutionary Guards brothers, we were giving our lives for this nation, we never imagined that a day would come when a group of Guardsmen, contrary to the wishes of the vast majority of the true and devoted personnel of the Revolutionary Guards, would use the might of their weapons against this nation.
The military considers itself the refuge of the nation and has never submitted to the demands of politicians to oppress the people. It has remained faithful to its vow to not interfere in politics, but it cannot remain silent while its countrymen are persecuted and violated. For this reason, to those individuals who have been imposed on the Revolutionary Guards and who are engaged in aggression and tyranny against the lives and dignity and honor of the Iranian people and who, more than anyone, have betrayed the blood of the martyrs of our country's armed forces, whether it be the Revolutionary Guards or the military, we issue a serious warning that if they do not change course, they will be faced with the reaction of the military's selfless men. The military is the refuge of the people, and it will defend, to its last drop of blood, the peaceful people of Iran against any aggressor.
- A group of pilots and personnel of the aviation division of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army (Havanirooz)
- A group of commanders and personnel of the 33rd artillery division of Isfahan
- A group of pilots and servicemen of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (Nahaja)
- The Shahid Sattari University of the the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (Nahaja)
- A group of the personnel of the command staff of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (Nahaja)
- A group of the personnel of the logistical training center of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army
- A group of the professors and officials of the Imam Ali University for officers
- A group of the personnel and officials of the command center of the military