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Iranian president reviews Basij parade
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21:10, November 25, 2008

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday reviewed a parade by volunteer Basij forcesin Tehran, the state TV IRIB website reported.

The ceremony was held to mark the 28th anniversary of the formation of Basij Organization, which was founded by the decree of Ayatollah Khomeini, the late founder of Islamic Republic of Iran, on Nov. 25, in 1980, and was used during "the Sacred Defense" (1980-1988), against Iraqi president of Saddam Hossein, the report said.

Addressing the Basij forces on the parade ground, Ahmadinejad said that the formation of Basij was a turning point in history of Iranians and "the enemies had reached a dead-end thanks to sacrifices and lifestyle of Basijis."

He claimed that Basij formation had been inspiring for other nations and added that "Formation of Basij aimed to defend the Iranian territory and setting a model for other nations to end oppression and get rid of the bullying powers."

The parade, staged by 15,000 Basiji forces, showed military preparedness of the force, according the report.

Iran's Basij troops organized civil defense drills on Sunday toprepare for any hostile air strikes, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Monday.

Hundreds of schools across the country participated in the exercise and simulated "transporting wounded people and putting out fires after a fictitious bombardment by enemy planes."

Israeli Air Force (IAF) Commander General Ido Nehushtan claimed earlier in his interview that his forces are ready to follow any order to thwart Iran's nuclear programs, reported Iran's satellite Press TV.

According to the Iranian media, out of the objectives of the organization of Basij two are essential: preserving the "Islamic values" and safeguarding the "territorial integrity and national sovereignty of the country in time of crisis," that is, performing two basic roles, social and military.

Source: Xinhua

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