On Wednesday, we reported on comments by Revolutionary Guards commander Mohammad Ali Jafari chiding an “incorrect” statement by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, “We consider him a seasoned and experienced diplomat, but he has no experience in military affairs and this is why he has made this remark.”
But it appears that Jafari is not just upset by Zarif’s reported caution that the entire Iranian defense system could be taken out by a single US bomb.
Fars News Agency, linked to the Guards, portrays Jafari issuing a challenge to the Rouhani Government in his speech on Tuesday:
The military, systems and procedures governing the administrative system of the country are the same as before, [but it] has been slightly modified and unfortunately infected by Western doctrine, and a fundamental change must occur.
Before and just after Hassan Rouhani’s inauguration in August, the Guards issued a series of statement trying to curb the President’s authority, including the effort to reach a nuclear deal with the West; however, these ebbed after Rouhani responded — apparently with the Supreme Leader’s backing — by saying that the Guards should not be involved in politics. At the same time, the President sought to defuse tensions by assuring the Guards that their significant role in Iran’s economy would not be restricted.
Jafari and other commanders had offered support for Rouhani’s moves towards the interim nuclear deal of November 24, provided the Government did not give up fundamental positions such as Iran’s right to enrich uranium.
However, on Tuesday, Jafari appeared to challenge the President’s injunction to stay out of politics: “The main threat to the revolution is in the political arena and the Guards cannot remain silent in the face of that.”
Sunni Insurgency Jaish ul-Adl Claims Another Attack on Iranian Forces
The Sunni insurgency Jaish ul-Adl claimed another attack on Wednesday in its campaign against Iranian security forces in southeastern Iran, saying it struck a camp in Saravan in Sistan and Baluchestan Province.
The insurgents said the attack was retaliation for shelling of the Mashkel area of Eastern Balochistan last week.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Head of Iran’s Border Guards lashed out at Pakistan over the attacks:
Our most important problem is the Pakistani government which doesn’t inspect its borders.
Of course, we have protested many times that our border guards are shot from Pakistan’s territory, but that country has not yet adopted any action to enhance security at its border.
Jaish ul-Adl, formed last year, has escalated its campaign since it killed 14 Iranian border guards in late October. Trying to stem the assault, Iranian forces fired across the Pakistani border last week.
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