High hopes in the West for hundreds of thousands of anti-regime protesters to engulf the streets of Tehran on Feb. 11are unrealistic, say DEBKA-Net-Weekly intelligence sources. Western elements have been too open in helping the opposition organize the demonstrations and this has been counter-productive; Iran's secret police got wind of the big plans afoot late last month and started organizing an even bigger pro-government rally aiming at overwhelming the opposition with a turnout of three million government supporters.
They pared down opposition plans by arresting leading pro-democracy lights and the media.
The most visible opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi are only under house arrest but were warned that if they left their homes they would be murdered by "angry mobs."
Tuesday, February 8, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke harshly to a gathering of Iranian Air Force commanders. He said: “The Iranian nation, with its unity and God's grace, will punch the arrogance (of Western powers) on the 22nd of Bahman (February 11) in a way that will leave them stunned.”
This is Islamic Republic-speak for: You want to stun us (the regime), we'll stun you first.
Our Iranian sources report that all army, Revolutionary Guards and Basij (pseudo-volunteer militia) units have been put on alert to suppress demonstrations before they grow too big. Riot troops have undergone special training at military bases and the Sar-Allah brigade, which is the Revolutionary Guard's armor-equipped special force for putting down riots and suppressing anti-regime elements, is deployed just outside the capital for rapid intervention.
They have been furnished with 50,000 motorcycles just purchased from Japan, South Korea and China as the most effective vehicle for crushing street protests. Their riders are trained to weave among the demonstrators swinging thick iron chains, moving at high speed and sowing extreme terror.
Iran attacks European countries, gambles on welcoming reporters
The hate campaign against the West, kicked off Tuesday, Feb. 9 with Basijj attacks on European embassies, was aimed at instilling in protesters the fear of being accused of treason and generating a climate of international crisis to justify the merciless repression of the unrest.
So certain was the regime of success in chopping off the opposition's head that it invited up to 300 foreign correspondents to cover events marking the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Republic of Iran, while at the same time arresting foreign journalists and holding them for weeks.
The passport of Mehdi Karroubi's son Hossein was confiscated Tuesday at Tehran international airport as he arrived from Dubai. He was taken in for questioning and asked whom he met in Dubai and who gave him money to fund anti-government demonstrations.
The ayatollahs are bending over backwards to prove the protest movement is not indigenous or, perish the thought, a normal popular response to a regime of terror and corruption, but rather foreign-instigated by Iran's enemies, chief of which are Britain, Israel, the US, France and other European countries. Regime propagandists finger the CIA, the British MI6 secret service and the Israeli Mossad as the main culprits behind the unrest, accusing them of plotting another "velvet revolution." They also blame dissident groups such as the royalists, the Mujahidin Halq and the Baha'is for fanning the flames of resistance.