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Friday, June 19, 2009

Hamas, Hizbullah join Iran's paramilitary forces in post-vote crackdown

NICOSIA — Iran opposition sources said Hamas and Hizbullah have come to the aide of government forces in wake of the presidential elections.   

Iranian opposition sources said the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Basij paramilitary force have used Hizbullah and Hamas personnel to assault anti-government protesters in wake of the disputed reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

They said Hamas and Hizbullah officers trained by IRGC in Iran employed brutal tactics against students and other supporters of Ahmadinejad's chief rival, Mir Hussein Moussavi.

"We have seen masked and unmasked security personnel who were speaking with a clear Arabic accent or simply did not look Iranian," an opposition source said.


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Iran has adopted Hamas and Hizbullah as the leading proxies of the Teheran regime. The opposition sources said Hamas agents, recruited in the Gaza Strip, Jordan and Lebanon, were used to attack Iranian dissidents and student protesters since 2001.

About 5,000 Hizbullah and Hamas fighters have been deployed to quell the anti-government protests, the sources said. They said Hizbullah and Hamas operatives, waving truncheons, were heard shouting in Arabic as they rushed groups of demonstrators.

Both Hamas and Hizbullah were said to have a permanent presence in Iran. The sources said IRGC has been training more than 500 Hamas and Hizbullah operatives a year and often pulled them out of courses to help in internal security.

IRGC was also said to have used Hizbullah tactics against the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora in 2008. At the time, Hizbullah employed groups of armed fighters in motorcycles to overrun political parties aligned with the pro-Western coalition of Siniora.

"It [Iran] must adopt the Hizbullah method of organizing large public demonstrations to confront the supporters of Mir Hussein Moussavi," Lebanese analyst Anis Nakash, a supporter of the Teheran regime, said.

The sources said the use of motorcycles by Hizbullah, said to have been developed in 2006, was seen in IRGC and Basij operations against pro-Moussavi demonstrators in Teheran and other cities. They said motorcycles enabled anti-riot squads to move quickly from one area to another through the crowded alleys of Iranian cities while reducing their vulnerability to attack.

Hizbullah has also taught anti-riot tactics to the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. The sources said Basij officers with Palestinian accents were seen shooting toward protesters. Other suspected Palestinians were said to have been ordered to beat demonstrators on university campuses.

"They [Hamas agents] are given jobs that Iranians won't do because they are either too ashamed to do this or scared they will be identified," another opposition source said.



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