Saturday, November 14, 2009
IRGC New Mission
Brig. General Hossein Hamedani, pictured above, was named today as the new IRGC commander for Tehran district. During a ceremony introducing Gen. Hamedani, IRGC Commader Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said the most important mission of IRGC is countering velvet revolution-type activities by the opposition.
Jafari also said that IRGC has received highest commendation from the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on the effective way it dealt with post-election disturbances in Tehran and other cities in the country. Gen. Hamedani will now be in charge of IRGC efforts to prevent and to deal with the Green Movement activities in Tehran.
Identifying non-militant opposition movement in the country as the focus of IRGC concerns is a sharp departure for the organization. IRGC first came to prominence for its role fighting Saddam’s army during the imposed war with Iraq. The war transformed the organization into the most powerful branch of Iran’s armed forces. It created an elite special operations group for extra-territorial activities, the Quds Force, involved in many regional conflicts as well as the elimination of the opposition leaders abroad. In post-war years, the organization went through yet another transformation, building its own business empire. Today IRGC is one of the largest business enterprises in the country, controlling major imports and distribution networks in the country. IRGC Intelligence directorate also became the top intel gathering organization in the country, surpassing in importance the government’s own Intelligence Ministry.
In the past decade, IRGC was given the ultimate command of Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. Its former generals entered the government in large numbers. And now countering the Green Movement has become its focus of activities. After thirty years, IRGC has become the most powerful organization in the country, a government in government, controlling major political, economic and military institutions.