IRGC plans further than elections to next supreme leader


Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), determined to preserve its dominant security role and its extensive economic interests, is silently backing a hardline candidate in the upcoming presidential elections, with an eye on a bigger prize, which is a successor to the current supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, reports Reuters.
Hassan Rouhani who had a landslide victory in 2013 presidential election by promising social freedoms and reducing Iran’s international isolation has a good chance in this year’s election as well, wrote Reuters. But IRGC and Basij have taken steps in backing his main rival, the hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi.
IRGC-affiliated media are criticizing Rouhani’s performance, and the experts say that this organization will probably use its entire means to mobilize Ebrahim Raisi’s supporters and take them to voting centers.
Iranian regime’s hardliners worry that the second term of Hassan Rouhani’s presidency will reduce the dominance of IRGC and its affiliated organizations over security and economic domains.
But, disregarding who wins the presidential election, IRGC’s bigger prize is to control and influence the process of succession of the regime’s supreme leader, whose powers and authority are much more than the elected president.
Khamenei who has been the leader of Islamic Republic since 1979 is now 77 years old. Some experts say that Ebrahim Raisi’s candidacy in the presidential elections is a test for someone who is being groomed to succeed the Iranian leader.
According to Islamic Republic of Iran’s constitutional law, the leader’s successor will be elected by Assembly of Experts whose members are elected for an 8-year period. Rouhani, a member of this Assembly, is one of those who gained most votes, and his allies also won almost all the seats in this Assembly from Tehran.
But many members of this Assembly are not clearly associated with any of the two hardline or reformist camp, and the faction that will win the election can somehow have the advantage in gaining support for its candidate for supreme leader.
IRGC has long been making its preference known. In mid-May, they arrested dozens of administrators of a reformist social network on Telegram Channel. From the viewpoint of reformists and critics, this IRGC’s measure was open intervention in election activities, and of course, against those forces that IRGC considers as its rivals.
Radio Farda

Editorial Team