A serious divide amongst the Iranian regime’s different power factions has formed following the July nuclear agreement signed between the P5+1 and Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). On one side are Iranian regime president Hassan Rouhani and his mentor Hashemi Rafsanjani, chair of the regime’s Expediency Council, are bent on fully implementing the nuclear agreement. This faction believes the country is in serious danger and if they don’t implement the nuclear deal their entire rule will face a growing social rebellion. Through this argument they were able to convince the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei to support their policies.
The other faction consists of hardliners who are diehard opponents of the nuclear pact, with the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) leading the pack. IRGC chief Mohammad Ali Jafari has time and again met with Khamenei to convince him of ending his support for Rouhani on the nuclear deal. However, due to the regime’s degrading economic conditions and the growing social unrest, Khamenei declined and continued his support for Rouhani.
These two factions each have their own vision of a solution for the regime in today’s extremely dire conditions. In their opinion they behold the sole solution to relieve the regime from utter disaster.
The Rouhani-Rafsanjani faction see the sole method of saving the regime in negotiation with the United States and the West, and therefore they are seeking to relieve themselves of their current isolation, set aside the nuclear sanctions and find breathing room for their regime. Of course, this faction knows quite well that in order to realize their wishes they must also set aside their meddling in Middle East countries. This is the predicament where they are forced to battle it out with the IRGC.
The opponent faction, represented by the IRGC, believe the solution lies in sticking to the regime’s previous policy of obtaining nuclear weapons and exporting terrorism to other countries. Through such methods they seek to impose their state as a regional power on the U.S. to promote their Islamic republic, being the Shiite version of the caliphate established by ISIS.
Relying on its military and economic power the IRGC enjoys assets in numerous countries and can pursue any policy it wishes in those states. Therefore, to disrupt Rouhani’s policy prior to the full implementation of the nuclear agreement and before Rouhani’s trip to Europe they have launched various measures including arresting a number journalists and intellectuals under bogus pretexts, tagging them as spies and elements of foreign countries. Through this campaign they intend to portray an image of Rouhani’s government to the outside world and international community as incompetent regarding the country’s security and military dossiers. The hardliners are also seeking to remind all relative parties that the IRGC has the final world on all security and military matters, and if there is to be any negotiation, it should be through the hardliners.
The closure of a McDonald restaurant in Tehran was another measure taken by the IRGC recently. McDonald considered an American icon was their pretext in this regard was, and to this end they are seeking to block the path of American infiltration into Iran.
After Rouhani came to power the subjects of Syria, Iraq and Yemen, previously controlled by the IRGC Quds Force, were handed over to the Foreign Ministry and the regime’s top diplomat, Mohammad Javad Zarif, oversaw these cases. Following the defeats suffered by Bashar Assad, and the Iranian regime’s major setbacks in Yemen and then Iraq, these dossiers were again turned back to the Quds Force.
These measures by the IRGC are aimed at preventing Rouhani from pursuing a policy launched with the signing of the nuclear agreement. Both of the regime’s factions believe the ayatollahs are in dire conditions, yet the sole solution provided by each faction for this predicament differs considerably from that of their opponents.
Daily executions of Iranian youths, reaching the 2,000 mark under Rouhani’s tenure, is one of the solutions both factions of the regime agree upon; meaning executing and murdering any and all individuals opposing this regime.
The result turns out to be a difference of opinion between senior Iranian regime officials, depicting this truth that their quarrel is all about who can expand their hegemony to further plunder the Iranian people’s God given wealth. Their last objective is to actually serve the people. The Iranian people have come to understand this fact that the only solution lies in the all-out overthrow of this regime.