Iran steps up security ahead of mourning rituals
Iran’s security forces, from border guards to local police forces, have ramped up efforts in recent days to ensure security at nationwide mourning rituals marking the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third infallible successor of Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny), an official announced Monday.
Speaking to the Tasnim news agency, Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs Hossein Zolfaqari said the armed forces have been commanded to intensify security measures across the country, as people are preparing to hold mourning ceremonies on Tasua and Ashura to pay tribute to Imam Hussein (PBUH) and his companions.
The major religious events, which fall on Tuesday and Wednesday, are national holidays in Iran. On Tasua and Ashura, the 9th and 10th days of the lunar month of Muharram, millions of Shias, dressed in black, take to the streets and mosques to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH) in 680 AD.
Elsewhere in his comments, Zolfaqari said Takfiri terrorists are expected to have been masterminding plots to carry out malicious acts during this year’s religious holidays given the volatile situation in the region.
Considering the defeats that Takfiri terrorists have suffered in the countries they are involved in militancy, intelligence assessments suggest that they may resort to more hostile measures, the official warned.
Zolfaqari then highlighted the pre-emptive measures taken by the armed and intelligence forces, saying the Army, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Basij, and Police forces, along with the Intelligence Ministry forces, have devised broad plans to ensure security for the upcoming events.
He also noted that the Border Guard Police, as well as the IRGC, the Army and forces that are stationed along the borders, have intensified security measures and are keeping all border areas under surveillance.
The security official finally called on Iranian people to inform police of any suspicious case during the religious ceremonies, calling for caution when receiving free food distributed in the days of Muharram.
People must make sure not to receive food from strangers in order to prevent food poisoning or other problems, Zolfaqari underlined.