Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps are refusing to back down in their battle with President Hassan Rouhani, despite being accused of “post-election envy”.
Guards commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari (pictured) responded with another defense of the IRGC’s widespread holdings in the economy, challenged by Rouhani as an impediment to recovery. Jafari insisted:
The IRGC sprang from the words of the people and the revolution and can therefore never [ignore] the needs of the people and the revolution….However much the government may provide by way of foundations, we are prepared to play our part with a jihadi outlook and a revolutionary method, with the help of the people themselves and [alongside] the public sector and Iran’s native capabilities.
Jafari defended the IRGC’s Khatam al-Anbia branch, which pursues engineering, logistics, and infrastructure projects by pointing to its assistance in water control in western Iran.
Many parts of the country are facing difficulties with drought and water supply.
Jafari also said the IRGC will continue its involvement in construction and “poverty relief”. He declared that the Rouhani Government could provide even more opportunities for the Guards.
President Rouhani is trying to rework the privatization of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in which the IRGC bought up large stakes in former State enterprises. Rouhani maintains that a mishandled privatization is holding back recovery and effective management, with the Guards also hindering the essential pursuit of foreign trade and investment.