According to the Iran based Mehr news, the Iranian parliament is looking to gather sufficient funds for the construction of two mega prisons in the south of Tehran, with each being able to house 10,000 inmates.

According to the article, one of the reasons behind this move is to transfer prisoners from Tehran’s current dreaded Evin prison. This prison which is close to the affluent north Tehran area is sitting on highly sought after land which could instead be used for lucrative property projects. By moving the prisoners to south of Tehran where property is cheaper, the regime is probably hoping to save money.

We also have to ask why else the regime wants to build such massive prisons.

One reason could be to fight the increasing rate of crime. This is just one example where thieves (one of them holding a large knife) attack a passerby. There are increasing reports about other types of crime in Iran which are on the rise, such as rape.

In my opinion the biggest reason why the regime wants to build such massive prisons is because it’s becoming more fearful and suspicious of its own population. On the one hand the regime has not managed to use the current sanctions to increase its own legitimacy. The people have not rallied around the flag as the regime hoped. Regime security officials are probably worried that as sanctions worsen, the regime could face more opposition at home, meaning more measures will be needed to suppress the population.

The regime is also losing legitimacy because of increasing infighting. This could embolden more people in Iran to demonstrate against the country’s undemocraticaly elected leadership.

Imprisoning people by the thousands may help the regime in the short term, but in the long turn it could ferment more opposition and possibly even a revolution. Lets not forget that many of Iran’s current senior politicians planned the 1979 revolution in the Shah’s prisons. This includes supreme leader Khamenei. History could repeat itself.