On Sunday October 29, 2017. Iranian authorities prevented a gathering at the tomb of ancient Persian king Cyrus the Great and arrested a number of suspects. A statement from the National Council of Resistance of Iran said that officials have taken repressive measures since a few weeks ago “To prevent people from entering Pasargadae, Revolutionary Guards, Basij, police and plain-clothed forces were sent from neighboring provinces and cities to Fars province and the surrounding areas of Pasargadae.
They have been controlling the roads leading to the Pasargadae’s nearby cities,” the statement read and continued: IRGC forces and the Police Force in Pasargadae and the surrounding towns had virtually imposed a curfew and had blocked all roads leading to Pasargadae, even the rural roads, and were preventing the movement of vehicles to and from Pasargadae.
The repressive forces ordered cars that were going to Shiraz, Tehran or Isfahan to continue their way from the old road.
The Revolutionary Guards passed a statement to all the cars and people who were walking to Pasargadae, which stated: The illegal gathering in Pasargadae on a fake day of October 29th has been planned by the inimical and anti-state entity outside the country and the perpetrators will be treated according to the law.
The governor of Fars province, in fear of the mass gathering in Pasargadae, issued a communiqué addressed to all provincial executives, and canceled all furloughs of the government staff in the province on Sunday.
In spite of all these repressive measures and actions, people in large groups tried to reach Pasargadae by ride or on foot through various routes, and a heavy traffic was created in the region.
Darvazeh Quran (main entrance) of Shiraz and the surrounding parks were full of people who wanted to go to Pasargadae. The police was trying to prevent people from gathering.
The efforts of the brave people to gather in Pasargadae on October 29th had scared authorities which had long mobilized their suppressive forces to confront it.
It is noteworthy that on October 26, a "security official" announced a plan of "A group of Monafeqin [meaning PMOI] and anti-revolutionary elements to create turmoil and chaos next week on the occasion of the commemoration of Cyrus", saying " they are Encouraging their sympathizers to attend this celebration, to clash with police and to take photographs and video clips of the event to be published in the media of the PMOI.
The same security official added: PMOI wants to create a criminal atmosphere for these clashes, which will be another action by the counter-revolutionary groups on this day." "Launching protest rallies against economic corruption and problems in the country, and then trying to divert them with slogans against the regime, will also be the main target of these groups," the security official added.
Cyrus, who ruled in the 6th century B.C., is celebrated by many Iranians for founding the Achaemenid Empire and establishing the first universal declaration of human rights.
The 2016 gathering at Cyrus's Tomb in Pasargadae appears to have been the largest in recent years.
The rally angered Iranian authorities, including senior cleric Nuri Hamedani, who blasted those celebrating Cyrus "counterrevolutionaries" and said that they had been chanting slogans normally reserved for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.