Cablegate Chronicles: Iran's Ninjas

More

This is an installment from our on-going series on the adventures of American diplomats and the people they monitor. The button below will take you to another random episode.

new story button.png


Iran's martial arts masters are being pressured to act as enforcers and assassins, one claims.

FROM: BAKU, AZERBAIJAN
TO: STATE DEPARTMENT
DATE: SEPTEMBER 1, 2009
CLASSIFICATION: CONFIDENTIAL
SEE FULL CABLE


Browse the Cablegate Chronicle archive.

Iranian Martial Arts Clubs Used for Political Repression --------------------------------------------- ------------

¶1. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx a licensed martial arts coach and trainer xxxxxxxxxxxx, told Baku Iran watcher that private martial arts clubs and their managers are under intense pressure to cooperate with Iranian intelligence and Revolutionary Guard organizations, both in training members and in working as "enforcers" in repression of protests and politically motivated killings. xxxxxxxxxxxx who provided originals of his Iranian coaching license and technical certificate as xxxxxxxxxxxx. He claimed that his xxxxxxxxxxxx with difficulty maintained its independence from control by organizations affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard and/or intelligence service. xxxxxxxxxxxx

¶2. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx observed that Iranian internal security forces are highly suspicious of these clubs as potential vehicles for organization and "combat" training of future protesters and regime opponents. Nonetheless, he asserted that their main motivation is seeking to control these clubs is less driven by such fears as by a desire to deploy their trained membership at will for "special tasks." According to xxxxxxxxxxxx these tasks range from providing martial arts training to Revolutionary Guard members and Basij, assistance in protest repression, intimidation, and crowd control, to political killings. He observed that use of these clubs and their members provides the security forces with "plausible deniability" for dirty undertakings, as well as trained fighters and potential trainers.

Alleged Contract Killings -------------------------

¶3. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx said he personally knew one such martial arts master whom he said was used by the Intelligence service to murder at least six different individuals over the course of several months in xxxxxxxxxxxx said that the victims included intellectuals and young "pro-democracy activists," adding that his assassin acquaintance was ultimately "suicided" by the authorities (i.e., killed in what was subsequently labeled a suicide). xxxxxxxxxxxx claimed that his club was raided and greatly restricted xxxxxxxxxxxx after he and the club manager refused to train Basij or lend them their facilities. He said that they also refused to mobilize their membership to assist in repressing local protesters xxxxxxxxxxxx. Although he has stopped working at the school, he claimed to be under relentless pressure to cooperate, xxxxxxxxxxxx

Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Global

Just In