Iran’s Police Commander Admits to the Authenticity of the Dormitory Attack Video

HRANA- Iran’s Police Commander (State Security Force) recently confirmed the authenticity of a video aired three months ago by BBC showing an attack on Tehran University dormitories, while criticizing the film for its portrayal of State Security Forces as responsible for the attacks.

In a June interview with the monthly magazine Shooresh, Esmael Ahmad Moghaddam said: “Although the film is authentic, if you watch the film you will see selective recording of scenes that serve to benefit others involved as well as audio that has been manipulated. 

BBC reports, Commander Ahmad Moghaddam’s comments were published as the country approached the one year anniversary of the attacks. He accused others for manipulating the audio to benefit themselves without going into detail.

The commander of the State Security Force does not specify who he is accusing of manipulating the audio in his remarks. Is it those who took the film? He does not specify who “they” are, however, later in his remarks it becomes evident who he is referring to. He states that the film shows “the police beating people and the plain clothed agents telling them to stop” while according to him it was the other way around: “the plain clothed agents were beating the people and the police were pulling them away from them.”

While the majority of government officials refer to the film of the attacks on Tehran University’s dormitories as fake, the commander of the State Security Force is publicly confirming the authenticity. 

The commander’s comments indicate that it is the plain clothed agents who have manipulated the sound to give the impression that it is the police that are hitting and that it is the plain clothed agents that are calling on them to stop.

After airing the dormitory film, BBC stated that the film was sent to them anonymously on February 21, 2010. This was the same day that Azizollah Rajabzadeh, former commander of greater Tehran’s security forces, proclaimed in his farewell speech that never had any member of the security force killed even one person during his tenure. He stated that, “After the elections, the security forces provided all their resources to the Sar’ Allah base of the Revolutionary Guard, which was responsible for the security of Tehran.”

His comments were meant to deflect blame onto the Revolutionary Guard and the Basij for the violence that resulted during the post-election protests. Analysts believe that the film was sent in response to Azizollah Rajab’s remarks during his farewell speech. In the film you can hear someone saying that the attack was ordered by commander Rajab. It is also evident that the film not being taken by a mobile or hidden camera. 

Commander Moghaddam’s recent comments reveal the growing schism within the Islamic Republic’s security establishment regarding responsibility for the dormitory attack. With that said, it is still too early to say whether the film was leaked as a result of this schism.

Although it isn’t known who told who what or if anyone said anything, the fact that the commander of Iran’s Security Force is confirming the attack as seen in the video is an important issue. He exposes the level of violence used against the students. As do the hundreds of other videos showing the violence perpetrated by the state security forces and plain clothed agents.

Three months after the dormitory attacks, Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Revolutionary Guards, referring to an attack by a “group of extremists” at the university stated, “As stated by the supreme leader, a special commission will be appointed to review the matter and we will have hearings by the end of this month (July 2009).”

Today, it has been eleven months since the comments made by the commander of the Revolutionary Guard and no steps have been taken.

There may never be such a hearing, however, if one is to take place; the police commanders comments will be of significant importance

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