21 June 2010

Iran Military Taking More Control

Though nominally run by the idiocrats of the "faith", Iran is seeing more current and former members of the IRGC appointed to government posts.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Sunday that Iran's government is becoming a military dictatorship, with religious leaders being sidelined and, as a result, new sanctions could pressure Tehran into curbing its illegal nuclear program.

"What we've seen is a change in the nature of the regime in Tehran over the past 18 months or so," Mr. Gates said on "Fox News Sunday."

"You have a much narrower-based government in Tehran now," he said. "Many of the religious figures are being set aside."

The defense secretary said Iranians "appear to be moving more in the direction of a military dictatorship."

Iran's supreme leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, "is leaning on a smaller and smaller group of advisers," he said. "In the meantime, you have an illegitimate election that has divided the country."

"There's no doubt that Iran's military and security forces are playing an active role in running the regime," said a U.S. official familiar with assessments on Iran. "Religious leaders like Khamenei continue to make key decisions and rely on the vast security apparatus to carry them out."

Since Iran's 2005 presidential election, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) expanded its control over the national economy. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a former IRGC officer, has appointed many retired IRGC officers to posts in Iran's government bureaucracy. The IRGC also began to control more oil contracts and asserted itself in Iran's efforts to obtain nuclear technology.

By: Brant

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