Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Watching for signs of political divisions

Here's one sign of the political divisions within the ruling elite in Iran.

Military Chief in Iran Scolds a Top Official
The highest commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of Iran lashed out at the country’s foreign minister on Wednesday, telling him to stick to diplomacy and stay out of military business.

Mohammad Ali Jafari
The commander, Mohammad Ali Jafari, responded to statements by the foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was reported to have said a week ago that the United States military could take out Iran’s defenses with “just a couple of bombs.” Mr. Zarif later said he had been misquoted.

Mr. Jafari, who developed Iran’s military doctrine of employing guerrilla tactics against powerful enemies, said that even “thousands of bombs” could not destroy the corps’ capabilities…

The remarks reveal growing tensions in Iran between the moderate government of President Hassan Rouhani, which is trying to reach a lasting nuclear deal with world powers in exchange for sanctions relief, and hard-liners like Mr. Jafari, who are openly skeptical that a deal can be reached.

Commenting on the temporary nuclear agreement negotiated last month with the world powers, Mr. Jafari said that Iran had “given the maximum and received the minimum… ”

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