Revolutionary Guard

Iran News Round Up July 19, 2012

Posted on Updated on

Damascus Panorama, Looking Southwards

Damascus Panorama, Looking Southwards (Photo credit: spdl_n1)

Politics

  • According to Iran, Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf has stepped up campaigning for presidency. One of the signs is resignation of deputy mayor Mohammad-Hadi Ayazi, Qalibaf’s “right hand,” who is allegedly engaged in organizing the Qalibaf campaign. Pro-Qalibaf websites include: Mard-e Amal, Talayehdar, Hoshdar News, Shafaf News, Farda, Tehran, Farda, Sit-e Hamian-e Doktor, Asheqan-e Doktor Qalibaf, Omid-e Yazdahom and the like. Iran criticizes Qalibaf for being “very close to the reformists.”  

Diplomacy

Military and Security

Q&A with former member of IRGC: Guards Could Negotiate with U.S. and Turn Against Khamenei in a Crisis

Posted on Updated on

Editor’s Note: Amid the escalation of tensions between Iran and the West and the upcoming parliamentary elections, InsideIran’s Reza Akbari conducted an interview with Dr. Seyed Ahmad Shams, a former IRGC political adviser. This is the second part of the interview. Click here to read the first part.

Q: Is there a possibility that the United States government could leave Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei out of the equation and instead negotiate directly with the Revolutionary Guards, just as it negotiated with the Egyptian army before former President Hosni Mubarak’s downfall?

A: The dominant segment in the Revolutionary Guards includes a spectrum of forces with diverging tendencies. I think what some commanders of Revolutionary Guards refer to as “velayat” (Guardianship of the Jurist) does not originate from a deep-seated belief but stems from personal and economic interests that ensure inclusion in the pyramid of power. It is possible that if serious problems arise, this impassioned support will collapse; any threat to these interests can even lead to confrontation with the Supreme Leader. The behavior of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in recent years and his struggle with Khamenei over conflicting interests mirrors perfectly the behavior of other members of Revolutionary Guards in the future if serious problems break out. As Mohammad Nourizad has asserted in one of his letters to Khamenei, “At a time when the country’s system experiences probable changes, individuals such as Hussein Shariatmadari and some chiefs of Revolutionary Guards will be the first to denounce you.”

Read the rest of this entry »

From an ex-CIA spy: US must exploit new split in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

Posted on Updated on

A serious split is developing within Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard. The West must leverage that split in support of regime change before the Islamic Republic successfully tests nuclear weapons.

Temp Headline Image
Members of Iran’s paramilitary Basij force, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard, attend a rally in front of the former US Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 25, 2011.
(AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

By Reza Kahlili
posted January 4, 2012 at 11:56 am EST

Los AngelesA serious split is developing within Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, with one faction favoring the overthrow of the dictatorial regime. This presents a window of opportunity for the West to support regime change before the Islamic Republic successfully tests nuclear weapons. Once the regime has those nuclear bombs, that opening will be much narrower.

Iran has tried hard to show strength in the face of sanctions aimed at pressuring Tehran to quit its suspected nuclear-bomb and missile development programs. Iranian leaders are now flexing their military muscles in the strategic waterway, the Strait of Hormuz, threatening to shut it down and choking off a major part of the world’s oil supply.

The regime has long tried to scare the West from taking any action against it, by threatening the world’s security and stability. However, behind its mask of strength and unity, big cracks are beginning to show. Read the rest of this entry »