Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

A female member of the Basij paramilitary militia receives bullets during a training session in Tehran in August 2013. Authorities created the Basij, which means mobilization in Persian, just after the country'­s 1979 Islamic Revolution. It is part of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ebrahim Noroozi / Associated Press

A Basij trainer shows women how to use an AK-47 rifle during a session in Tehran.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ebrahim Noroozi / Associated Press

Women in the Basij paramilitary attend a training session in Tehran. The Basij has its roots as a volunteer fighting group during the 1980-88 war with Iraq. It then developed as a grass-roots defender of the system, working as Islamic morality police or busting up pro-reform gatherings or publications.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ebrahim Noroozi / Associated Press

A member of the Basij paramilitary militia aims her rifle as an instructor helps her during a summer training session in Tehran. With a presence in nearly every city and town across Iran, the paramilitary Basij volunteer corps has an ever-increasing influence on life in the Islamic Republic.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ebrahim Noroozi / Associated Press

A trainer walks past female members of the Basij during a training session in Tehran. Estimates of membership in the Basij range as high as a million.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ebrahim Noroozi / Associated Press

Members of the Basij volunteer militia fire their weapons during a training session.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ebrahim Noroozi / Associated Press

Members of the Basij attend a training session in Tehran in September 2013. The Basij is part of Iran'­s powerful Revolutionary Guard.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ebrahim Noroozi / Associated Press

Basij members load their rifles during a training session. Basij branches can be found in all governmental bodies, universities and schools. Volunteers often enjoy favorable treatment from the government, particularly in securing jobs in the public sector.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ebrahim Noroozi / Associated Press

Members of the Basij march during a training session in Tehran.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ebrahim Noroozi / Associated Press

More galleries on Framework

return to gallery

Photo essay | Iran's paramilitary Basij volunteer corps

The Queen Mary turns 80

On Dec. 9, 1967, the Queen Mary arrived in Long Beach after a 39-day voyage from England. The city of Long Beach purchased the 31-year-old vessel, which was slated for the scrap...   View Post»

   

Photo essay | Iran's paramilitary Basij volunteer corps

The Week in Pictures | April 14 – 20, 2014

Each week we bring you the very best in visual journalism. In South Korea this week, South Korean coast guard members rescue some of the 477 passengers and crew aboard a ferry...   View Post»

   

Photo essay | Iran's paramilitary Basij volunteer corps

Pictures in the News | June 25, 2013

In Tuesday's Pictures in the News: — Los Angeles police search for a gunman who opened fire on two detectives outside the Wilshire Division station. — Fans celebrate...   View Post»

   

Photo essay | Iran's paramilitary Basij volunteer corps

Year of the Dragon

Ethnic Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese across Asia and in the U.S. are ringing in the Year of the Dragon with fireworks, festivals and family reunions. In Beijing, Bangkok,...   View Post»

Photo essay | Iran’s paramilitary Basij volunteer corps

TEHRAN, Iran — With a presence in nearly every city and town across Iran, the paramilitary Basij volunteer corps has an ever-increasing influence on life in the Islamic Republic.

Authorities created the Basij, which means mobilization in Persian, just after the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. It is part of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard.

The Basij has its roots as a volunteer fighting group in the 1980-88 war with Iraq. It then developed as a grass-roots defender of the system — taking on roles such as Islamic morality police at checkpoints and parks or as shock troops busting up pro-reform gatherings or publications. Precise numbers on Basij membership are not published, but some estimates range as high as 1 million or more.

The Basij responds to emergencies like earthquakes and other natural disasters. It also has influence online: The Basij has a group of hackers made up of university teachers, students and clerics that launch attacks on websites of “enemies,” a state-backed newspaper reported in 2011. It also monitors social media and plans to begin teaching “drone-hunting” to students.

Basij branches can be found in all governmental bodies, universities and schools. Volunteers often enjoy favorable treatment from the government, particularly in securing jobs in the public sector.

– Associated Press

No comments yet

Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.

Required

Required, will not be published