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Why Iran’s regime is afraid of growing calls for the disbanding of the IRGC

Abolfazl Shekarchi, Senior Spokesman and Cultural deput of the Armed Forces Staff
Abolfazl Shekarchi, Senior Spokesman and Cultural deput of the Armed Forces Staff

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, September 25, 2020—In a recent address, Iranian Resistance leader Massoud Rajavi called for the dismantlement of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the Iranian regime’s main implement of suppression and terrorism. Mr. Rajavi emphasized that the IRGC’s budget and assets must be allocated to people’s health and to counter the coronavirus outbreak in Iran, which has now resulted in 108,800 human casualties in 440 cities checkered across the country. If the regime's aim is not domestic suppression and export of terrorism abroad, having a single military force, the artesh (army), is enough for the country, and the huge annual budget spent on the regime’s warmongering policies in the region could be used for deprived people of Iran. 

The echo of Massoud Rajavi’s message

The call for the dismantlement of the IRGC was a reflection of the social and political realities of Iran. And this is why it spread rapidly across the country and forced the regime to react. Following Mr. Rajavi’s call for disbanding of the IRGC, the regime was forced to hastily set up TV shows and interviews with IRGC commanders to resolve the “doubts.”

On September 21, Abolfazl Shekarchi, the senior spokesperson and the cultural and deputy of the staff of the regime’s armed forces, attended a talk show on the state-run TV, and when asked about the overlap between the work of the IRGC and the artesh, he said: “Defending the ideologic frontiers of the Islamic Republic and the Islamic Revolution is not only the duty of all institutions, organs, and even the army but the ‘natural mission’ of the IRGC.”

But things became even more clear when one of the participants asked him where are these “ideological frontiers” and how they compare with the geographical borders of the country. “The IRGC has an internal mission too. We must confront the MEK,” Shekarchi said.

He thus acknowledged that in addition to the export of terrorism and fundamentalism abroad, the nature of the IRGC and its mission is internal suppression of dissidents. The truth is, from the very first day of its foundation, the IRGC had a single goal: to keep the mullahs in power at any cost. This means protecting their rule against protesters inside the country, against opposition forces, and against any belief or political system that contradicts the outdated ideology of the mullahs. It’s no wonder that wherever you see strife, chaos, death, terrorism in the Middle East, the footprints of the IRGC are undeniably present. By spreading death and fundamentalism in the region, the IRGC ensures the life of the religious fascism ruling Iran. And that is why disbanding it would be the equivalent of cutting open the artery of the mullahs’ regime.

Public outrage toward the IRGC

The destructive and anti-Iranian role of the IRGC is not lost on the Iranian people. In recent years during five nationwide uprisings the people of Iran chanted “No to Gaza, No to Lebanon, I give my life for Iran,” “Let off Syria and think about us,” an expression of pure outrage at the IRGC’s destructive and costly meddling in the countries of the region, which is all being paid straight out of the pockets of the Iranian people.

The people’s outrage toward the IRGC has raised even more during the coronavirus outbreak in Iran. In May, Etemad Online, a state-run news website, quoted Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, MP from Kermanshah and member of the Majlis Security Commission, as saying “When I went to Syria, some complained that I had caused expenses, but I will say this again: We may have given $20-30 billion to Syria. The money of this people was spent there.”

In contrast, during the pandemic, regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei agreed only to spend $1 billion on the COVID-19 response, of which less than one-third has been given to the Health Ministry. Many Health Ministry officials acknowledged recently that the despite brave efforts of day and night, the medical staff have not received their meager salary for months.

Today, the most impactful and profitable sectors of Iran’s industries, mines, communications, banks, and construction companies are exclusively owned by Khamenei and the IRGC. And every year, due to pervasive corruption and plunder in the mullahs’ regime and the IRGC, tens of billions of dollars are taken out of the country.

For decades, the Iranian Resistance has stressed time and again that the regime’s rule is founded on two pillars: repression at home and export of terrorism and fundamentalism abroad. In the last 40 years, the regime advanced both goals through the IRGC. 

Now, it would be unexpectable of the regime to disband the IRGC and to sow the seeds of its own undoing. But the fact that the regime spent a TV show on the question of IRGC’s existence portrays the social pressure and the legitimacy of the Iranian Resistance’s position. And this only makes it clear that the people’s demand to disband the IRGC, which has achieved nothing but misery and disaster for Iran, is legitimate.