IRGC targets domestic rivals in anniversary message

By Ali Alfoneh | Nonresident Senior Fellow - Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East | Apr 2, 2018
IRGC targets domestic rivals in anniversary message

Commemorating the 39th anniversary of the March 30, 1979 referendum, which established the Islamic Republic, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) issued a warning against foreign threats against “the track record of the Islamic Republic.” The statement cautioned that “the front of Arrogance and enemies of the Islamic homeland” – a term used by Tehran for the United States and its allies – wants to weaken the ruling regime in Iran.” It further stressed that “the enemy” tries to convince the Iranian people that the regime is unable to address their economic woes in an effort to drive a wedge between the young generation and the regime. It also emphasized that Iran’s rivals want to push back against the country’s regional influence and limit its defense capabilities. But the IRGC statement pledged that the “the revolution pursues its major goals and ideals.” The IRGC also opines that the Trump administration may walk away from the nuclear deal.

Comment: The statement shows the Revolutionary Guards is not addressing foreign enemies, but its message is largely for domestic consumption after nationwide anti-regime protests that engulfed Iran in December last year and continued in January.

The second part of the statement clearly attacks President Hassan Rouhani and the technocratic elites of the Islamic Republic.

What is of interest to the United States and allies is that the Revolutionary Guards also seems to be preparing the public opinion inside Iran for a potential collapse of the Iran nuclear accord.

President Rouhani and his allies invested their entire political capital in the nuclear agreement. But while the Revolutionary Guards benefitted from the nuclear deal, it never committed itself to it publicly and would use the collapse of the deal as another nail in the coffin of the Rouhani administration.

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