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Basij Commander Addresses New Poem To 'Great Satan'

Mohammad Reza Naghdi

Mohammad Reza Naghdi

On "Persian Letters," we've previously reported about the artistic skills possessed by the head of Iran's Basij force, Mohammad Reza Naghdi, who, along with cracking down on opposition activists, appears to be a budding poet.

A few months ago, Naghdi wrote a poem about a "soft war," which Iran claims its enemies have launched against it with the help of the Internet and social media.

In the poem, Naghdi refers to Twitter and Facebook, and writes that neither site has succeeded in corrupting young Iranians. You can read the poem, which I translated into English as best as I could, here.

Well, now Naghdi has penned a new poem, this one addressed to the "Great Satan" -- meaning the United States -- in which he writes that it will "burn" with irritation from the results of Iran's March 2 parliamentary elections.

The four-line poem, which doesn't lend itself to easy translation, describes the 1979 Islamic Revolution as an avalanche for the United States and says next month's vote will be yet another cause for anger in America.

Persian speakers can read it here.

March's parliamentary elections -- the first since the 2009 disputed presidential vote -- are of critical importance for the Islamic regime, which needs a high voter turnout to reestablish its legitimacy as it confronts escalating international pressure over its nuclear program and popular discontent at home.

Unlike Naghdi, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei -- himself a poetry fan -- was strictly prosaic when he said on February 15 that a big voter turnout will give the enemy (meaning the United States) "a strong punch in the mouth."

Khamenei also said that "the enemy" was making efforts to suggest that Iranians have lost faith in the causes of the Islamic system.

But citizens "thwarted" all conspiracies with their massive participation in rallies last week to commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, he added.

The Iranian leader, however, failed to mention the scattered "silent protests" that opposition members reportedly held in Tehran and other cities on February 14 amid heavy security measures and warnings.

Those rallies commemorated another anniversary: the first demonstration called by opposition leaders Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi in solidarity with the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.


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