On Wednesday, Hossein Salami, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Commander in Chief, announced the formation of a headquarters for controlling prices and fighting extortion in Iran.
Having the IRGC, as a force that has monopolized and dominated Iran’s economy, to resolve the country’s economic crisis is like asking an arsonist to put out the fires.
As an example, according to the interview of the state-run Sharq newspaper with Brig. Gen. Abdollah Abdollahi, on December 17, 2014, the IRGC’s Khatam Al-Anbiya Construction Headquarter is the largest contractor for government projects. It has 5,000 subcontractors and about 135,000 employees. This cartel enjoys the complete support of the regime and has easy access to banking and financial resources and sustained contracts with no competitive bidding.
Along with monopolizing Iran’s economy, the IRGC has been plundering national wealth to fund its illicit activities both inside and outside Iran.
While Iranian people are grappling with poverty and the COVID-19 crisis, the IRGC unveiled its automatic and intelligent system of consecutive long-range ballistic missile launches.
The IRGC commander bragged about fighting extortion, while the existence of the IRGC, as Iran has an official army, is under question. IRGC receives an official budget, along with billions of dollars in assets, while it is absolutely not necessary for Iran to have a second army.
Therefore, the Iranian Resistance has called for the disbanding of the IRGC and allocating all its resources to the Iranian people, particularly amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Most importantly, allowing a military force, who is the regime’s primary force of oppression, to enter the economy, will have negative impacts on Iran’s already destroyed economic system. If the IRGC has the capability of resolving Iran’s economic issues, why it had not acted before? Since the beginning of this year, the prices of essential products in Iran have skyrocketed, but the IRGC took no action until now.
The regime has a significant budget deficit. Increasing the prices are not and the seller’s decision to make, it is by the government. The IRGC knows this and it is part of the ruling system, which controls the market and makes the decision.
So, what is the regime’s real motive for forming the so-called “anti-extortion,” headquarters?
Increasing oppression for preserving the regime’s security
In recent days, in addition to forming the economic headquarters, the IRGC formed two other headquarters, under the pretext of combating the coronavirus and “thugs.”
The formation of these headquarters is simultaneous with recent warnings of the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, of mullahs’ waning security. On Thursday, Khamenei warned of possible “security threats” concerning his regime, while declining to even address the current COVID-19 crisis.
Besides, combatting the COVID-19 crisis, for a regime that concealed its existence for months, calling it a blessing, which resulted in the current crisis, is a bitter joke. Now the IRGC wants to “search houses,” to find “infected people,” to “separate and isolate them.” Yet, no one in Iran believes, a force that recently gunned down over 1500 protesters, and refuses to use its economic empire to help people during the pandemic, had a sudden change of heart and wants to help people.
The term “thug” is also used to counter defiant youth, who have been recently targeting centers of the real “thugs,” in the IRGC, State Security Force (SSF), or Basij paramilitary.
On the eve of the major Iran protests in November 2019, the regime has increased its oppressive measures. Because the mullahs’ regime is fearing the current economic and social crises, coupled with the COVID-19 crisis and the regime’s mismanagement, could result in another major uprising.
The nationwide Iran protests erupted in Iran after the government announced a sudden fuel price-hike. Shortly afterward, protests encompassed over 200 cities across Iran, with people targeting the regime’s centers of repression and chanting “death to dictator.” The November uprising rattled the regime’s foundation and was a major blow to its “security.” Therefore, Khamenei ordered the IRGC and SSF to kill protesters.
In a nutshell, forming these headquarters are Khamenei’s efforts to treat his incurable pain of “security”.
But will these oppressive measures control the restive Iranian society? The ongoing protests across Iran and defiant youth targeting the regime’s centers of oppression and plunders shows the regime’s plan of preserving its “security,” is doomed to fail.