There would be no Iran without Revolutionary Guard, replies Soleimani to Rouhani
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard attacked Iranian president Hassan Rouhani following his latest criticism of the semi-military power over the economy.
Qasem Soleimani, head of the Quds Force, said that no one has the right to weaken nor attack the Revolutionary Guard. According to the news agency Mizan, Soleimani stressed on the importance of the Revolutionary Guard, in a speech on Tuesday addressing fighters of the of Iran-Iraq war in the 80s, and their role in keeping the country from harm’s way.
Economy under military’s mercy
The Iranian president had criticized the Revolutionary Guard’s intervention in the country’s economy in a speech last week.
“The economy is under the country’s military power’s mercy,” he said.
Rouhani stressed that “the economy, weapons and media are in the hands of the military and no one can compete with them.”
This is in addition to his criticism during his election campaign in May, when he demanded the Revolutionary Guard to take care of military and security affairs on the border, accusing them of terrorizing investors and negatively impacting Iran’s economy.
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“The Revolutionary Guard’s intervention in the economy was to protect the revolution,” said Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard in response to Rouhani’s criticism.
Jafari considered the Revolutionary Guard’s economic activities to be within the framework of reconstruction, building, ending the economic dependence of Iran and strengthening the military force in the face of the “ambitions of arrogant powers,” as he put it.
The commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guard wants to increase military spending and fast forward development of the controversial missile program, pointing out that “any country that does not possess weapons will be humiliated by the enemies and, therefore, forced to surrender.”
Rouhani’s projects collide with the concept of the national economic self-reliance.
The Iranian President is seeking to tackle the economic crises experienced by the country, through the policy of opening up foreign investment and privatizing some sectors, including the projects under the Revolutionary Guard, while the latter wants to apply the slogans of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei of self-sufficiency and economic development relying on local resources, without recourse to foreign countries and investors.