IRGC’s role in Iran’s economy

[A medley report from IRIB and BBC Persian, in which IRGC’s role in Iranian economy, as well as the confrontation between IRGC commander and Rouhani, is highlighted.]

  IRIB REPORTER says: IRGC commander says, “IRGC has been never wanted to work in the economic domain. We have entered the domain of construction at governments’ requests and with their insistence and without the governments fulfilling many of their obligations to IRGC.” Major General Jafari said that IRGC’s activities are not economic or profitable, but are for eradicating deprivation, construction, and neutralization of enemy’s strategies for putting the country’s economy under pressure.

IRIB REPORTER continues: Major General Jafari has said that it is not right to give hard tasks with least profit to IRGC and be proud of projects constructed by IRGC, but, instead, talk unfairly about IRGC, while they still owe thousands of billions of tomans for the projects. IRGC commander said were it not for constructive activities of IRGC, continuous sanctions would put the government and the country in dire straits. Major General Jafari has said that “in this path, we are not afraid of condemnations, and, for preserving the unity, we will remain silent against unfair attacks against IRGC.”

BBC REPORTER states: It has been for a long time that many have objected to IRGC’s economic activities. These people say IRGC, with using its security and military power, has left no place for competition and has seized different economic sectors – probably 40% of the country’s economy. And this is Rouhani, a few days ago.

ROUHANI questions IRGC’s role in Iranian economy: Well, what were those policies of Article 44 for? They were for giving the economy to the people, and the government let go of them [political activities]. Well, what happened? We took them from a government without a gun, and gave them to a government with a gun. Is that called economy? Is that called privatization? Is that right? Well, that government didn’t have any weapons, and they were scared of it. Now we have given them to a government that has guns, has media, and has everything. No one dares to compete with them.

BBC REPORTER continues: The president is pointing to transfer of a significant part of the country’s economy to IRGC in the name of privatization. But the reaction of IRGC’s commander today is interesting. He says IRGC has entered the economic domain for construction and eradicating deprivation. Today IRGC commander has said: “Yes. We have not only guns but also enemy-defeating missiles. And we believe that a government without a weapon will be humiliated by the enemy, and will eventually surrender.” And he has said someplace else: “We believe that foreigners are only thinking about their own profits and milking Iran. And the result of trusting them will be nothing but humiliation and facing betrayal again and again.” These remarks were not a clear response to the problem of IRGC dominance over the country’s economy. This is the president 3 years ago.

ROUHANI asserts: By God if one accumulates intelligence, guns, money, capital, website, newspaper, and news agency in one institute, he will become corrupt even if it is Abu Zar [Prophet’s companion]. If it is Salaman [Prophet’s companion], he will become corrupt.

BBC REPORTER concludes: IRGC unaccountability, with its power as a parallel government, has today become once again a problematic issue at top of the Iranian establishment.