Iran’s Khamenei: IRGC not necessary in political arena
Azerbaijan, Baku, September 17 /Trend N. Umid/
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that being involved in the political arena is not necessary for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), but it should be acquainted with the country's politics, ISNA news agency reported.
He made the remarks during his speech to the IRGC commanders.
Commenting on diplomatic reforms in Iran's foreign policy, Khamenei said "I'm not opposed to proper diplomatic motions," adding that diplomacy should be associated with 'heroic flexibility'.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said yesterday that the IRGC should keep a distance from political games, adding that it is beyond the country's political processes. He also welcomed the IRGC's economic activities.
Rouhani said the IRGC is not a competitor of the private sector and should take part in major projects the private sector is unable to undertake.
"I urged the Commander of the IRGC to take a role in a few national projects," he said, arguing that in the current situation of the country the IRGC must undertake some major national projects due to western sanctions.
It should be recalled former Supreme Leader Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini had banned the IRGC from politics, but during past decade it became massively involved in Iran's political and financial issues.
The Guards conservative leadership opposed many policies of Iran's reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami, who served from 1997 to 2005 and helped scuttle his boldest initiatives.
The 100,000-strong IRGC and its volunteer paramilitary branch, the Basij, were instrumental in suppressing the street protests that followed the disputed 2009 re-election of hardline ex-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.