The Basij Organization is one of the five forces of the Revolutionary Guards that is responsible for gathering, managing and organizing the people’s volunteer forces in line with organizational goals.
This force, also known as the Basij Organization of the Oppressed or the Basij Resistance Force, was formed on December 26, 1980 by the order of Ruhollah Khomeini (God’s mercy be upon him).
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday Iran’s Basij militia forces have sacrificed their lives in what he called riots, the wave of protests sparked by the death in custody of a young Iranian Kurdish woman in September.
The protests that began after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s morality police on Sept. 16 have turned into one of the boldest challenges to the clerical leadership since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Challenging the Islamic Republic’s legitimacy, strange protesters have burned pictures of Khamenei and called for the downfall of the Islamic Republic.
The Basij forces, affiliated with the country’s elite Revolutionary Guards, have been at the forefront of the state crackdown on the unrest in the past weeks.
“They have sacrificed their lives to protect people from rioters … the presence of Basij shows that the Islamic Revolution is alive,” Khamenei said in a televised speech.
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Iran’s clerical establishment has blamed the country’s foreign enemies, particularly the United States, and their agents for the unrest.