The recent events in Mahshahr can generally be categorized as follow:
A) The partial version of the incident
First stage: creating an emotional atmosphere to deepen an extensive psychological operation. At this stage, without providing any clear evidence, it is claimed that the citizens of Mahshar are living in abject poverty despite living in a rich region that supplies a large amount of the country’s oil and gas. It is claimed that they do not even have access to bathroom!
Second stage: claiming that rioters and armed thugs were ordinary people. At this stage, by playing innocent, it is claimed that the citizens of Mahshahr (not armed thugs who were mainly non-native) blocked the road to Imam Khomeini Port and its petrochemical complexes only by using few rocks and firing some tires because of discrimination and injustice.
Third stage: deliberately ignoring the issue of security threat to petrochemical complexes and blocking the country’s key energy route. It is a critical issue. If it had happened, it would have created a crisis in the country. Interestingly, the opposition media outlets have downplayed the threat and refused to refer to the background of the trained armed rioters and their role in creating an atmosphere of insecurity in the city.
Fourth stage: spreading false news, exaggerating the incident, and claiming mass shooting by police and security forces with an emphasis on the keyword of the “IRGC”. In the incident in Mahshahr, police and security forces protected people’s lives and properties, as well as vital energy production and distribution lines against foreign-affiliated armed rioters. The opposition media outlets are trying to describe the defense by security forces as an anti-popular and repressive behavior that resulted in murder of people.
In this regard, the necessary actions taken by the forces are being falsely reported by incisive keywords such as “the use of tanks”, “DShK” and “military helicopters”. This is while, in comparison to the similar cases in other countries, the Iranian police and security showed restraint in confronting rioters. The council responsible for security in city or province in no country allows armed thugs to disturb the country’s order and security.
B) The truth
First: a group of people, like many other parts in the country, publicly protested the imprudence in announcing and implementing the gasoline price reform.
Second: shortly after, several groups derailed popular protests. The groups were affiliated to the Mujahedin-e-Khalq terrorist group, counter-revolutionary currents and some intelligence agencies of neighboring countries. They led the protesters by chanting separatist slogans along with violent behavior.
Third: Some native and non-native rioters were called by social media to join the trained groups. In the next step, rioters blocked crucial roads for transporting energy across the country and attacked military bases and public places.
Fourth: After seeing such violence, the majority of protesters immediately gave up their legitimate grievances and protests. Obviously, this move by people shows that they had no problem with the establishment itself and did not intend to destroy public and private properties.
Fifth: Armed rioters, who were being led by foreign-affiliated elements, turned the city into a battlefield. By blocking the main roads for transferring energy, the rioters practically created a security problem.
Sixth: The protocols regarding security in Iran, like all other countries, follow particular instructions. Therefore, maintaining and establishing security in Mahshahr and Imam Khomeini Port required more serious action due to their critical sensitivity. In other words, the seizure of these areas means the blockage of the country’s vessels in the field of energy and export. Naturally, no government will tolerate such a disruption. Therefore, police and security forces countered the saboteurs based on legal orders.
There are some important points in this regard that should be considered:
1. Those who had taken anti-security actions were not ordinary people or even protesters; rather they were trained elements who acted in a very clever and well-planned manner.
2. Basically, such actions, which occurred almost exclusively in Mahshahr and Imam Khomeini Port, are by no means comparable to burning banks. Burning banks or other public places has a much more limited effect, while such actions have a national effect. Preventing fuel and other petrochemical products from being transported across the country can both disrupt people's daily lives and cause mental insecurity. Therefore, it is an irrational expectation to such an action be gently confronted.
3. Those who showed this behavior were all armed with firearms. It is illegal in our country to purchase, possess and use arms, so the anti-security actions completely amounts to moharebeh (waging war against God).
4. According to the examinations, if police and security forces did not take action, not only the entire import from Imam Khomeini Port would have been influenced, but also the death toll would have increased.
Consequently, despite the false propaganda campaign and widespread media warfare against the Islamic Republic, what happened in Mahshahr was not massacre of ordinary people. Iran will take revenge for innocent people who were killed by the rioters.