TEHRAN, Iran — Rahian-e Noor (Path of Light) is the name given by military organizations, such as Sepah and Basij, to tours that throughout the year take visitors to areas that were once the heart of the battle during the Iran-Iraq war. Critics of these tours, however, say that the tours are meant to indoctrinate and are upset that a shocking number of traffic accident fatalities have occurred en route to these sites, so much so that the tours have earned the nickname, Rahian-e Goor (Path of the Grave).
On March 17, a few days before the start of the Nowruz holidays, which is the busiest time of the year for these tours, the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, appeared among the staff responsible for conducting these tours. “Certain incidents that occur from time to time during these trips should be prevented,” Khamenei said. “However, these incidents should not be used as an excuse for questioning this important and beneficial activity in its entirety.”