Monday, September 30, 2013

IRGC vs Rouhani or Khamenei vs Rouhani--Iran (updated 10/6/2013)

General Jafari Cautions Rouhani

By: Jabbar Fazeli, MD

The election of president Rouhani brought with it high expectations that he would change Iran and its political standoff with the west. His efforts, so far, have given the west reason to pause, and many are starting to think that he indeed has the authority to open a new chapter in Iran-West relations.

Sadly, back home the realities of the Islamic Republic are still as unchanged as ever.

Rouhani walked a tightrope since his election president; In his address to the IRGC leadership this month, he tried to shower them with praise and even welcomed their involvement in economic activities (some of you may have seen photos of various IRGC construction projects here). Somewhere is his speech he managed to tell the IRGC to "stay out of politics". He used quotes from the leader of the 1979 revolution, Khomeini, and the first Shia Imam Ali to make that point (1,2). 

Rouhani even convinced the supreme leader of Iran, Khamenei, to give the same advise to the IRGC. The best Khamenei could do was to say that the IRGC "should not get involved in everything" (3). Khamenei did go on to say that those who engage in diplomacy should be mindful of whom they are dealing with. Gen. Jafari used similar language today.

The commander of the IRGC, Gen. Jafari could be seen taking notes as Khamenei hinted that the IRGC should not get involved in politics, yet he did just that with in his criticism of Rouhani today. Jafari characterized accepting a phone call from president Obama a "tactical mistake".

The question is if Gen. Jafari is defying the command of his supreme leader to stay out of politics, or is he saying what Khamenei doesn't want to say himself? In think the later is more likely.

Khamenei may have blessed diplomacy to the lift the crippling sanctions, but he appears to want Rouhani to simply be a better messenger than Ahmadinejad, not a powerful president who could change Iranian foreign policy.

It must now be evident to Rouhani's that his hardest battles are not in the west. In his recent trip to NY, he was treated with respect and hope by everyone, including president Obama, only to return home to face the hard-liners' wrath, not to mention their shoes. 

Rouhani's greatest challenge was, and will always be, in Tehran, and his greatest challenger is not Gen. Jafari--it is the supreme leader himself.

UPDATE 10/6/2013
As suspected, the supreme leader Khamenei echoed IRGC Gen. Jafari remarks and indirectly criticized Rouhani for talking to President Obama.
Unlike his predecessor, Khamenei never uses straight talk, and so he said that "some of what occurred in NY was inappropriate".
His view was a front page headline in Khamanei's other surrogate/mouth piece "Kayhan". Most other media chose to go with the headline "I have confidence in the diplomacy of government"

(1) Rouhani's Speech to IRGC (no English subtitles) 
(2) A small portion of Rouhani's speech to IRGC (with English subtitles)
(3) Khamenei Speech to IRGC (no English subtitles) 


Mark Pyruz said...

Jabbar, many typos. Hard to understand what you're trying to say beyond the usual, predictably negative tone.

Anonymous said...

Ey baba Jabbar....

"In his recent trip to NY, he was treated with respect and hope by everyone"

You surely refere to the israeli delegation that leave his speech even before he started. Very respectful!!!

@Mark Jabbar always see a glass half empty...never half full...

@Jabbar why should a high ranking militarty officer ( IRGC ) not say in a newspaper very respectful that he do not agree with rouhani and also say why he do not agree. Because he think it would be better to wait for a signal by the us before have direct talks ( such signal would be lifting the sanctions or delet iran from axis of evil ). For example in America generals and CIA Directors also give adives to the president in newspapers...

I agree with Mark...i dont know what u want to tell us...

B.M.A said...

Typical of Iranian beautiful all inclusive religious democracy!-

Unknown said...

Sorry about any typos. English as a fifth language and having a day job is my excuse.
I'm betting on the intelegence of our readers to see past the typos and still manage to comprehend.

B.M.A said...

JF- 'comprehend' your bias? and bigotry?

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as "religious democracy".
There is only blind obedience.