Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have always been influential. They are about to get even more so, says Kasra Aarabi writing for Rusi.org
For decades, the Iranian regime’s ideological army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has formed part of Iran’s ‘deep state’. Today, it is on the verge of taking over the state in its entirety and in doing so has set its eyes on Iran’s presidency.
The IRGC has several strong presidential candidates, including IRGC member Parviz Fattah, head of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s ideological charity, the Mostazafan Foundation, and Saeed Mohammad, who leads Khatam Al-Anbia, the IRGC’s construction conglomerate. Yet they are becoming increasingly overshadowed by an IRGC heavyweight, Hossein Dehghan, a Guards commander who served as Iran’s incumbent president Hassan Rouhani’s defence minister and is currently Khamenei’s military advisor.
In recent months, Dehghan has met key regime figures, including the IRGC’s elite and the Supreme Leader’s clerical representatives, in what looks like an attempt to gain their endorsement for 2021. On paper, Dehghan is not only the IRGC’s perfect candidate, but is everything the 81-year old Khamenei could ask for in terms of securing his legacy.
Read the full article from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)