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Page last updated at 09:31 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 10:31 UK

Iran views: 'Basiji are a good thing'

A dust storm in Tehran, Monday 6 July
A view of Tehran through pollution and a dust storm, Monday 6 July

Three Iranians in Tehran, one who voted for president Ahmadinejad and two supporters of the defeated presidential candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, speak to the BBC News website about the security clampdown in Iran.

Mohamad, 24, unemployed English graduate, Tehran

I think the majority of people are still in shock. The regime pretends that everything is just fine, but it's not!

People may no longer be on the streets, but that's because the security forces have been tripled since the supreme leader ordered them to treat protestors with no mercy.

Young people in Iran have no life, no future

There are 24-hour street patrols, Basiji forces are everywhere. They are stopping people, searching their pockets, their cars, their mobiles and when they find any video or any proof related to the recent protests they arrest them and no excuse is acceptable.

People think their votes have been ignored by the government and that's the main reason we protested. They answered us with bullets, batons and tear gas.

Young people in Iran have no life, no future, no job, no freedom and yet when we protest they treat us like this. This is dictatorship.

I voted for Mousavi, I'm sure the majority of people voted for him or Karoubi. People are not stupid, they simply want their votes to be counted. It's like we threw our votes into trash cans.

I'm so sad, so desperate and so disappointed, I'm sure many people feel just like me. I finished university a year ago and I've been looking for a job since then.

My course was English Literature, so I'm now translating English texts into Farsi, but I tell you I am earning almost nothing. I have no choice but to live with my family because I can't afford a place of my own.

Amir, 28, architect, Tehran

I voted for Mr Ahmadinejad as the least bad option. I didn't like the way Mr Mousavi's campaign targeted the 18-30 age group, focusing on dancing, and girls and boys. He alienated the older generation.

I don't think the election irregularities were as big as people think. If Mousavi had really won all those votes, all of Iran would have exploded at the results, and the big protests were only in Tehran.

I saw Mousavi supporters breaking windows and causing chaos. The West sees the Basiji as a bad thing, but in Tehran they're viewed as something good, they try to restore calm and order

Only rich people and youngsters are in contact with the west. Maybe they exaggerate, they think everyone in Iran is like them. They're not.

I have friends in the Basiji and friends among Mousavi supporters. When I compare the two sorts of people, I see that Mousavi's supporters are much more violent than Ahmadinejad's supporters.

I cannot trust those videos on YouTube, I trust my eyes. I saw Mousavi supporters breaking windows and causing chaos. The West sees the Basiji as a bad thing, but in Tehran they're viewed as something good, they try to restore calm and order.

In my view, the Basiji handled things the right way - it could have been much worse.

We want a president who believes in democracy, we want to have relations with America and not be isolated in the world, to have business growth. We want freedom.

But we live in Iran and we cannot get there very fast. We also don't want to lose what we have.

We want atomic energy. I think Mr Mousavi would easily lose Iran's power to America. But Mr Ahmadinejad insists on atomic energy and he is prepared to lose face to keep nuclear power.

I believe the chaos was prepared by America and Britain. It was obvious on TV that Mr Obama supported the protests. When these two countries support someone in Iran, we lose trust in the candidate.

Parvaneh, 31, postgraduate student, Tehran

I live in the Ekbatan complex west of Tehran. At the moment the city is quiet but people are angry and frightened.

The Basiji forces search people's cars. I have heard that a clergy community has invited people to come onto the streets on Thursday afternoon. They haven't specified where - if they did, the Basiji would be there before us.

I, my family, friends and friends of friends voted for Mir Hossein Mousavi. Without a doubt the results are fraudulent. There's lots of evidence pointing to vote-rigging.

We were all wearing black chadors and the government claims only irreligious people voted for Mousavi, so they tried to ignore us

I was one of the many people protesting, but you have no idea how powerful and dangerous Iran's secret service is.

They have spies and cameras everywhere and I didn't cover my face during the protests.

They can detect where you are through your mobile phone even if you turn it off! We had to remove our Sim cards or mobile batteries. Loads of my friends took part in the protests, but only one of them was arrested briefly.

And here is why: we were all very religious, wearing black chadors. The government and Basiji claim that only irreligious people voted for Mir Hossein Mousavi, so they tried to ignore us.

At the moment I can hear people shouting 'Allaho Akbar', it is 10 pm here.



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