restricted access Iran’s Basij: Membership in a Militant Islamist Organization

The Basij militia is a central component of Iran’s clerical regime and a supporter of hard-line conservative interests. It is a security organization that also engages in social and political activism. This study focuses on the group’s rank-and-file members and looks at the organization’s mechanisms for recruitment, participation, and training. Based in part on interviews with current and former Basij members, the article concludes with general observations about the organization and its internal practices.