Iran, on defiant course, tunes up military

Iran, on defiant course, tunes up militaryTehran, Iran, Dec. 03 – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered a major reshuffle of the top brass of the armed forces as part of a larger plan to enhance the military’s control over the government, Iran Focus has learnt.

In recent weeks, hundreds of senior officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have been seconded to government ministries and state institutions to “prop up” the country’s civil administration for what many within the clerical government believe will be a very tough year ahead for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran Focus revealed last week that three in four of the new senior political appointees by hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad come from the Revolutionary Guards, including 11 of his ministers and several new governors.

As part of the new changes, Brigadier General Mohammad Hejazi will soon leave his command of the para-military Bassij and move to the more senior position of Chairman of the IRGC’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to informed sources in Tehran.

Hejazi is a close ally of President Ahmadinejad, who has himself been a top commander in the IRGC.

The decision to give Hejazi the top job comes after IRGC Deputy Commandant Brigadier General Mohammad-Baqer Zolqadr was appointed as the Deputy Interior Minister. Zolqadr will coordinate the motley internal security organisations of the Islamic fundamentalist state.