Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Out with the 'Moderate culture' - Khamenei Revives Feared Intelligence Unit Of Iran's IRGC.
Out with the 'Moderate culture' - Supreme Leader Khamenei Revives Feared Intelligence Unit Of Iran's IRGC.(rferl).
When reports emerged earlier this month that prominent Iranian Internet entrepreneur Arash Zad had been arrested in August at Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport, it was unknown who apprehended him, or why.
But suspicion has since fallen on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) intelligence arm, whose increased activities could indicate that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has rejuvenated the much-feared unit so he can gain greater control over the country.
The unit's resurgence appears to coincide with Hassan Rohani's ascension to the presidency in the summer of 2013, after which the relative moderate set about trying to live up to his campaign promises to give Iranians more freedoms and move away from his predecessor's heavy handed approach to dissent.
That, observers say, potentially puts Rohani at odds with Khamenei, who as supreme leader has ultimate say in the Islamic republic. The IRGC's intelligence unit, which falls under the supreme leader's direct authority, could serve as a useful tool if Khamenei cannot fully trust the Intelligence Ministry to do as he wishes.
"The intelligence branch of the IRGC must monitor all issues at all times and identify threats," Khamenei told IRGC commanders on September 16, according to a text of his speech posted on Khamenei.ir.
Afshari, who was arrested and tortured by the IRGC's intelligence unit under President Khatami, is not surprised to see its revival as a parallel intelligence body.
"Under Rohani the Intelligence Ministry has been trying to distance itself from methods used under [former hard-line President Mahmud] Ahmadinejad," Afshari notes.
"Khamenei is very clearly stressing the need for increased activities by IRGC's intelligence unit. I think [it means] that the unit will have a freer hand," said Ramezanpour. Hmmmm.....Rouhani served his purpose, now the leader himself will take charge again.Read the full story here.