The clerical regime is making sweeping arrests in Iran cities following the outburst of protests across the southwestern oil-rich Khuzestan province. Security forces are arresting civil activists and young people in Ahvaz, Shadegan, Mahshahr, Jarrahi, Hamidieh, Khorramshahr, Susangerd, Izesh, and Shush.
Local sources say that in some districts of Ahvaz, the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) broke into people’s houses, arresting several, often young, members of the same family.
A local source said the IRGC makes the arrests in the following manner:
- The IRGC carries out its operation searching villages, one by one, and in cities, one neighborhood after the other.
- The night before the IRGC operation, an informer marks the homes of protest leaders after midnight.
- The IRGC and the Bassij form human chains and set up checkpoints to block all entries and exits to the operational zone.
- After the call for Morning Prayer, the operational intelligence units take action. These forces include the IRGC intelligence, the State Security Force (SSF), the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS), and the plainclothes agents. They break into the houses marked by the informant.
- Based on their reports, the IRGC Intelligence and the Intelligence Ministry immediately take hold of the arrestees accused of national security charges. The sweeping arrests in Iran of protesters contradict the remarks by the Supreme National Security Council’s Secretary, Ali Shamkhani. Born in Ahvaz, Shamkhani tweeted on July 22, “Security forces have been ordered to quickly release those arrested in the recent incidents in Khuzestan who did not commit criminal actions.”
Local sources in Khuzestan province said security forces stepped up their arrest of civil activists and youths after Shamkhani’s remarks.
The security forces have taken the arrestees to uncertain locations. The families of arrested civil activists and protesters have referred to the authorities in Ahvaz and other cities inquiring about the place of detention and the charges of their children and relatives. However, they have not received any answers,
The Iranian regime has not yet announced the number of those killed during the protests in Khuzestan. The victims identified so far are mostly young and even teenagers, and often shot to death by security forces.
Fearing arrest, many of the protesters shot by firearms or pellet guns of the special units have not referred to hospitals to receive treatment. These reports have come from Ahvaz, Susangerd, Mahshahr, Shadegan, and other cities in Khuzestan, as well as Aligudarz in Lorestan province.