Saturday 17 March 2018

Iran sets up secret prisons to deal with protests

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Damien McElroy and Con Coughlin

Iran's feared Revolutionary Guards have set up a network of secret prisons after the leadership issued a set of orders to prepare for a security crisis following today's presidential election, according to western diplomatic sources.

The security preparations have been put in place as it emerged that the most moderate candidate in the field of seven to replace President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was attracting a wave of support.

Western diplomatic sources said the intelligence division of the Revolutionary Guards had established the detention facilities to detain anti-government activists.

"The regime is determined that there will be no repeat of the widespread anti-regime protests that followed the last election," said the senior western intelligence official.

The regime was caught off-guard by the severity of the protests following the disputed presidential contest four years ago that resulted in Mr Ahmadinejad winning a second term.

An internal document from the office of the Supreme Leader, which was passed to the media by opposition activists, contains stern instructions to the security forces to thwart attempts by "enemies" to undermine the leadership.

Observers report that Hassan Rohani, a cleric who is running against an array of candidates loyal to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, could force a second round run-off vote next week. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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