Iran General NewsWill Iran’s Regime Bid a Painful Farewell to Its...

Will Iran’s Regime Bid a Painful Farewell to Its IRGC?

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While many analysts of Iran’s political landscape expected a unified stance within the Iranian regime after Ali Khamenei, the regime’s supreme leader decided to consolidate his government by appointing Ebrahim Raisi as president, the latest facts show that he did not achieve his goal and quite to the contrary, the regime is facing serious political discord among the ruling elite.

Over the past weeks, as the Iran nuclear talks near completion, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)has become the main source of these disputes. The regime has demanded that the US government remove the IRGC from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO).

Since April 15, 2019, when the US government’s decision was first made, it created serious problems for the regime’s financial support, and the regime subsequently faced shortages in boosting its external activities, while most of the country’s economy is controlled by the IRGC. With the regime currently taking part in the continuing nuclear talks, the IRGC has become one of the main topics of the negotiations between the US government and the Iranian regime.

Under pressure to clarify and accept a new JCPOA, the regime’s foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian quoted some of the senior IRGC commanders in a TV interview on March 26, 2021, as saying that the regime should not give priority to the Revolutionary Guards in the negotiations.

He said, “The high-ranking officials of the IRGC always remind us that the issue of the IRGC should not be an obstacle for you. In fact, high-ranking IRGC officials are showing self-sacrifice at the highest level!”

He added, “The issue of the IRGC is part of our negotiations, as are other issues that are still really going on between us and the Americans.”

This has been done to pave the way to end the negotiations and get the regime out of the deadlock it is facing and its consequences. But the specter of adverse and dangerous consequences of the IRGC remaining on the FTO means that the regime must refrain from its regional interference, which will be a strategic blow to the regime.

Therefore, some of the regime’s officials voiced their concern and frustration about Amir-Abdollahian’s remarks.

The state-run news agency Fars, affiliated with the IRGC, quoted Hossein Shariatmadari, Khamenei’s mouthpiece in the daily Kayhan, as saying, “You have mistakenly called surrender ‘sacrifice.’ The IRGC Command is expected to correct the Foreign Minister’s remarks by announcing a quick and clear opinion.”

Regime MP, Ali Khezrian attacked Amir-Abdollahian in a tweet, saying, “Amir-Abdollahian’s remarks were wrong because they are ultimately against the interests of the state and complement the enemy’s plan to create a gap between the state and the people.”

Still, others argued cautioned against criticizing Amir-Abdollahian’s remarks. Rasoul Montajabnia, referring to the critical situation and the impasse the regime is facing, warned, “Now the state is in such a predicament that requires the lowering of the temperatures. Sometimes the officials need to step back a little, and according to (Imam) Khomeini, drink from the chalice of poison, so that they can solve the problems.”

The question here is whether Khamenei will accept such a decision? The fact is that the regime is caught between a rock and a hard place. Accepting a new JCPOA with the US government’s conditions and demands will have the same consequences.

As Khamenei desperately said on March 10, “This presence in regional issues is our strategic depth. This in and of itself is a tool to strengthen the system. How can we abandon this?”

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