Rouhani's administration does not welcome IRGC’s help

Photo: Rouhani's administration does not welcome IRGC’s help / Politics

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 10

By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

The administration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani does not welcome the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) call for help.

Ali Saeedi, representative of Iran's leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the IRGC, said that the government has not been welcoming IRGC's help, Iran's Fars news agency reported on June 10.

However, IRGC is prepared to help the government in different sectors, but that doesn't mean IRGC seeks to take a share of the government's profits, he explained.

In January, Saeedi said that "whenever the government needs help, the IRGC is available."

At an April 18 ceremony marking Armed Forces Day in Tehran, Iran's president Hassan Rouhani urged the military to "avoid interfering in political affairs."

The president praised the army, which he said has sacrificed much since the 1979 revolution to protect the country from external threats "without requesting its share from the nation and the elected government."

Rouhani's comments were a clear reference to the IRGC, which has challenged Rouhani's foreign policy from the start of his administration, especially after the influential organization found the president reluctant to grant it massive economic projects.

Soon after Rouhani won the election, he called on the IRGC to limit its economic activities to only a few national projects. That was unsatisfactory to IRGC commanders, who had been awarded at least 11,000 development projects, ranging from construction and aerospace to oil and gas, by the previous government between 2006 and 2013.

The commanders said their involvement in the economy was only meant to rein in foreign investors' ambitions and that they would not continue it if the new government did not need them.

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the IRGC commander, complained in late March that the Rouhani administration had ignored his organization's call for help.

He said the IRGC and its affiliated volunteer force, the Basij, were ready to assist the government with the "resistance economy" - the economic plan outlined by Khamenei to restore the country's ailing economy and reduce reliance on oil revenues.

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