The Bassijis were compelled to take up batons: regime’s broadcasting chief

During the 2009 mass uprisings by the Iranian people, suppressive forces like the Bassij “came to the scene with all their might and did their utmost to protect” the regime, the head of the state-run TV and Radio, Ezatollah Zarghami, said on Saturday.

According to the state-run ISNA news agency, in referring to the regime’s suppression of the protests, Zarghami told the Bassij commander and officials during a ceremony, that, the Bassij “was even forced to use batons and sticks to counter [protests] in every street and alleyway.”

“But, foreign media sources staged a massive propaganda to depict the Bassij as unpopular and against the people.”

Still, Zarghami implicitly referred to the popular hatred towards the Bassij, saying, “Following the sedition [protests], we decided to reinvent the image of the Bassij in the society.”

But, despite the fact that the resources of the state-run TV and radio have been allocated to the Bassij, he suggested, the output of the Bassij, which have been suffering from low morale, have not succeeded in inviting any sympathy towards the forces.

“Without any exaggeration, the members of Bassij are everywhere and we can say that the entire TV and Radio organization is influenced by the Bassij. … But, my expectations are much more than this. Despite all the attempts which have been carried out so far, the Bassij productions have not been able to create a buzz, so to speak, not even the 10-minute programs.”

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