Who's in charge in Iran?: Does it matter?
An expert's assessment that Iran's elite military branch has seized economic and political power from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei doesn't mean the nature of that nuke-seeking nation's leadership has changed. Whichever faction's running Iran, it's still crazy.
In an American Enterprise Institute discussion, Ali Alfoneh said Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which he has long studied, has made Iran into a “military dictatorship” that holds the ayatollah “hostage in the hands of his own praetorian guard” while working “to preserve the illusion” that his radical Muslim clerical regime remains in charge, The Washington Free Beacon reports.
The power shift's roots go back decades, to IRGC resentment of clerics who enriched themselves during the Iran-Iraq War without sacrifice. Privatization efforts led by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's first military-veteran president, enabled the IRGC to amass private economic assets totaling about $80 billion, Mr. Alfoneh said.
The IRGC “has very little respect for the U.S., particularly this president and this administration” and sees President Obama's overtures as signs of weakness, according to Alfoneh. And he said the IRGC and the clerics could clash over ending Iran's nuclear-weapons program in exchange for easing Western sanctions.
The bottom line? Iran remains a terrorist-friendly hotbed of Islamist hatred for America, Israel and their allies — no matter who's really calling the shots in Tehran.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- For U.S. Senate, W.Va.: Elect Shelley Moore Capito
- Monsour’s legacy: A bitter pill
- U.N. Watch: Gun-grabbers unite!