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July 10, 1986

More than 8,000 of Iran's top battlefield commanders gathered in Tehran to be screened for leadership positions in a new, 150,000-strong volunteer force for new offensives that Iranian leaders say are necessary to finish off the six-year-old war with Iraq. Mohammed Ali Rahmani, the clergyman who heads the volunteer forces, or Basij, said that commanders for the 500-battalion force would be selected on the basis of a detailed questionnaire.

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