In August, I wrote an article for FrontPage magazine entitled “Iran’s Most Radical Regime“, which warned that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the fanatic secret police/para-military force that maintains the hardline tenets of the Khomeinist revolution, was rapidly taking over the levers of power in Iran. Unfortunately, my fears – shared by many others, of course – seem to be coming to pass, as indicated in this story from Iran Focus:
Iran’s para-military Bassij, which groups together ultra-Islamist vigilantes loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, are assisting the newly-installed ministers in the hard-line government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a semi-official daily reported on Sunday.
During an interview with Iran’s state broadcasting corporation, Revolutionary Guards Brigadier General Mohammad Hejazi said his forces had already started work with “certain ministers”, according to the hard-line daily Jomhouri Islami.
Hejazi, a member of the IRGC high command, is the commander of Bassij.
“We are fast cooperating with government ministers in required fields”, Hejazi said.
The Bassij is the paramilitary militia force which, under the command of the IRGC, often attacks and brutalizes reformers or political dissidents. Their involvement in the ministries, especially the power ministries such as defense and oil, is a particularly worrying development. These ministries once displayed a certain level of independence, especially under President Khatami. Now, their total loyalty to the edicts of President Ahmadinejad and his overseer, the Ayatollah Khamenei, seems assured by the brute force of the 4.5 million-man Bassij.