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IRGC Blames ‘Enemies’ For Economic Problems, Threats Against Iran

Iran -- Members of IRGC in a joint ceremony in Boushehr on May 24, 2015.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) says that foreign powers are undermining the Iranian economy by suggesting the regime is helpless to fix economic problems.

In a statement issued to mark the anniversary of a referendum that led to the declaration of the Islamic Republic on April 1, 1979, the IRGC said the regime’s “brilliant achievements are seriously vulnerable against threats and attacks on the threshold of the fifth decade of the Islamic revolution.”

The statement added that “the Islamic Republic is the most important challenge the world’s arrogant powers are facing,” and that “its national, regional, and international achievements have astounded those who oppose the Iranian nation and their revolution.”

“Arrogant powers,” a term coined by Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini in 1979, is how Iranian hardliners describe the world’s major military and economic powers.

The IRGC further promised in this statement that “the 40th year of the revolution is going to be the Islamic Republic’s most brilliant year.”

the Islamic Republic is the most important challenge the world’s arrogant powers are facing.
IRGC Statement

The statement follows Iranian and foreign analysts’ pessimistic assessments of Iran’s economy in the Iranian new year that started on March 21. The analysts pointed to Tehran’s failures during the past year and blamed the IRGC for most of Iran’s problems as it gets the lion’s share of the country’s oil revenues and spends it on proxy wars in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Some assessments hold that Tehran has spent up to $15 billion a year in Syria.

Iranian demonstrators protesting financial problems and economic injustice in December and January harshly criticized Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for spending billions of dollars from the nation’s pocket on his regional ambitions in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

The IRGC statement said that “suggesting the regime’s incapability to solve the nation’s financial problems, the widening gap between the regime and the country’s youth, and challenging Iranian’s regional influence in West Asia” are some of the signs that show the “threats and attack” facing Iran.

These were some of the reasons cited by Iranian and foreign analysts, as well as academics and politicians in Iran, for the protests.

The protests started with the slogan of “No to high prices,” and soon questioned the performance of regime institutions and Iranian officials.

At least 25 people were killed on the streets and three died in prison during and after the protests.

Economists and sociologists have warned that further protests could erupt as officials failed to address the dissatisfactions that ignited the protests in the first place.

However, regime officials blame “the enemies” — the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel — for the protests, while some of them expressed concern for what might happen in the new year.

Guardian Council Chairman Ahmad Jannati said on February 15: “I am deeply concerned about what might happen in the next year.”

In its April 1 statement, the IRGC attributed “the inefficiency of the Islamic Republic” to “enemies” without naming any particular country, adding, “The enemy is planning to limit Iran’s defense capability to make sure that it would be fragile before foreign aggression.”

The IRGC noted that “political factionalism, trusting the enemy, and the failure to fight poverty, corruption, and discrimination have hindered Iran’s progress,” but promised that Tehran can attain its goals “when economic problems are solved.”

This comes while economists have said that IRGC is responsible for a major part of Iran’s economic problems.

The IRGC also promised to help realize Khamenei’s new year’s motto of “supporting Iran-made products,” while it has long been criticized for its destructive role in the economy. The IRGC contended that it is leading economic projects “at the request of the government,” denying its unfair competition with the private sector.