Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Iran to increase crackdown on dissent – Tehran police chief

Iran Focus:

Tehran, Iran, Nov. 09 – Iranian police are planning to boost a national security plan that will effectively increase a crackdown already in effect, the chief of police in Greater Tehran announced on Wednesday.

Brigadier General Morteza Talai told the Fars news agency, run by the office of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that the plan which was scheduled to have ended on Friday would continue to be in effect and would be enhanced.

A “Plan to Combat Trouble-makers” was launched in Tehran in September and soon spread to cities and towns across the nation. Under the scheme, thousands have been arrested within a period of several months for various charges such as “racketeering” and “loansharking”. “The plan to increase national security which was supposed to end at the end of the holy month of Ramadan is still in effect and will be continue in a new form from next week”, Talai said.

The Tehran police chief said that the new enhanced plan would involve a closer level of cooperation among officials in charge of carrying it out.

He said that an announcement would be made in the coming days to clarify the changes. Iranian officials often refer to millions of unemployed young men, who are largely beset by frustration and despair, as “trouble-makers”.


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