Sunday, November 13, 2005

3 in 4 of Iran’s top government officials from Revolutionary Guards

Iran Focus: a pro-MEK website
Seventy-five percent of the ministers and deputy ministers in the government of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad come from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the elite ideological army loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a source close to a state institution told Iran Focus on Sunday. READ MORE

At least 11 ministers in Ahmadinejad’s cabinet are former senior officers of the IRGC and its affiliated agencies, the para-military Bassij and the Construction Jihad.

The Minister of Telecommunications, Mohammad Soleymani, was sent to France on a terror assignment with a group of 14 other Revolutionary Guards officers in January 1983. He was arrested briefly while secretly filming the residence of leading Iranian opposition figures in a suburb north of Paris. The ministers of energy, culture, foreign affairs, labour, commerce, agriculture, roads and transport, industries and mines, and urban development are among other former IRGC officers now serving in Ahmadinejad’s cabinet.

Ahmadinejad himself was a senior commander of the IRGC. His official biography noted that he was involved in “extra-territorial operations” by the Revolutionary Guards. The IRGC has carried out many terrorist operations outside Iran against Iranian dissidents and foreign targets, according to Western intelligence sources.

Many of the political appointees in the Ministry of the Interior are also from the Revolutionary Guards. The new Interior Minister, Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, a Shiite cleric with a notorious past as a top official of the clerical regime’s secret police, has begun sweeping purges in the ministry. Some of the newly-appointed provincial governors are also from the Revolutionary Guards, including Akbar Razzaghi, the new governor of Kermanshah Province. Razzaghi was Ahmadinejad’s fellow IRGC officer when both men were stationed in Ramezan Headquarters in western Iran. Ramezan Headquarters has been a major planning and command centre for IRGC terrorist operations abroad.