After weeks of a bitter war of words, President Hassan Rouhani and the top commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) met together on July 24 in attempt to mend fences.
The generals at the meeting were IRGC Chief Mohammad Ali Jafari, Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, IRGC Aerospace Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Basij Commander Gholam-Hossein Gheybparvar, and deputy chief of the Sarallah unit, Esmaeil Kousari.
The senior commanders were ostensibly there to congratulate Rouhani on his victory in the May presidential election.
“Unity among all forces is essential to realize the guidelines of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and also to serve people,” Iran’s official news agency, IRNA, quoted Rouhani as saying.
While “appreciating IRGC forces' efforts in their assigned capacity,” Rouhani expressed his “hope for armed forces attempts to serve the needs of the people,” IRNA reported.
Rouhani also highlighted the government's support of IRGC services.
He also reiterated that all institutions and responsible organs increase their efficiency with more clarity in “their specialized fields,” according to IRNA.
Meanwhile, the IRGC-backed news agency, Tasnim, reported: “Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appreciated the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps for its services to the country and highlighted his administration’s full support for the services provided by the IRGC.”
According to Tasnim, Jafari congratulated Rouhani on his re-election and voiced the IRGC’s readiness for “all-out cooperation” with the administration to materialize the “objectives of the Islamic Revolution.”
Besides interchanging such pleasantries mixed with mild sarcasm, little detail concerning the gathering has been published so far.
The two sides had apparently agreed to meet each other by some tacit recommendation by the supreme leader.
However, reactions to the gathering were rosy with a trace of caution on both sides.
“This is not an image, it’s a course; [a course on the way to] freedom, security, peace, and progress for the people as well as for the system, which depends on strategic unity between the government and the defensive forces of the country as a whole,” said Rouhani’s cultural adviser, Hesameddin Ashena, on his Telegram channel.
Iran’s newspapers have widely reported and welcomed the gathering. The daily Shahrvand praised the meeting on its banner headline as a “milestone.”
Another pro-government daily, Sharq, described the gathering as “the end of some of recent weeks’ misunderstandings that heralds more cooperation between the government and the IRGC.”