300,000 security forces to guard Iran polls: Police chief

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Brigadier General Hossein Ashtari, the chief of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces
Brigadier General Hossein Ashtari, the chief of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces

The chief of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces says as many as 300,000 members of the service will be deployed to guarantee security during general elections next month.  

Brigadier General Hossein Ashtari said the elections are “the most important political event” to take place in the country, adding his forces are directly responsible to thwart any possible threat.

“The country enjoys exemplary security,” but “the armed forces, police and the security apparatus should always assume that something is going to happen,” he said.

“We should pay attention to the regional and international developments, and maintain necessary readiness to confront any type of threat,” Ashtari added.

He touched on the activities of Takfiri and Salafi groups, saying “thanks to the readiness of the armed forces and the vigilance of the Eminent Leader of the Revolution (Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei), all plots have been foiled” so far.

“We should maintain this readiness and vigilance because preparedness would forestall any movements in various domains.”

Ashtari said police’s “preemptive measures and its intelligence superiority have always played an effective and useful role in confronting threats in various areas.”

Iran’s armed and security forces, he said, have thwarted individuals and groups who sought to infiltrate the country and harm the establishment in the past.

With Iranians gearing up to go the polls next month, police’s priority is to enhance intelligence command and operational preparedness in border areas, he said.

In recent years, Iran’s borders with Iraq in the West and those with Pakistan and Afghanistan in the east have faced security challenges from Takfiri and other groups which Tehran says are supported by US, British and Saudi intelligence services.

On Monday, commander of the Special Units of the Iranian Police Force Hassan Karami said 20,000 Iranian police forces would be providing security at the ballot boxes on the voting day on May 19.

Some 55 million Iranians will go to the polls on the day to choose a new president as well as new members of the city and village councils.

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