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Concerns over Possible Public Unrest In Iran Caused by Economic Pressure

By Bahram Rafiei (source: Rooz Online)

Khamenei’s Rep in the Revolutionary Guards: People Should Support the Leader

Hojjatoleslam Ali Saeedi,Supreme Leader's representative in IRGC

After the remarks of Iran’s leader ayatollah Khamenei two weeks ago about the impact of international sanctions on Iran, his influential representative in the Revolutionary Guards force (the IRGC) cleric Ali Saeedi once again called on the public to “put up a resistance in line with that of the supreme leader” against international pressure while at the same time warning that “the enemy planned to intensify the sanctions” against the country, thus revealing and describing the growing concerns within the country’s decision-makers about the possibility of people “succumbing” to economic pressures they feel in their daily lives.

Speaking to a group of people in the town of Neishabour, Saeedi said, “Economic pressure is on the people so that they will surrender to the enemies. If people succumb to the enemy, then we shall have no answer to history and the martyrs.”

He said, “The economic plans of the enemy were to increase sanctions even as a real blockade had already taken place” and yet warned that “our nation and its leader carry weighty messages that nobody has the right to retreat. If we stay the pressures then we shall be creating new historic lines. If a national desires to shine and to maintain this luster, then it must stay with its leader. This way it will emerge victorious over the infidel’s front and will become a model for others replacing fear with security and disgrace with pride.”

In his remarks, Saeedi preached and tasked people to “organize their lives and livelihood according to the current conditions in the country,” adding that the “enemy had brought the battle through economic pressure to the cities and houses.”

He also said that despite the economic sanctions and pressures, “some people were preparing for the economic battle while others were stockpiling goods and raising the price of goods.” He then again listed what he described as the benefits of supporting the supreme leader.

This is not the first time since the passage of the latest round of international sanctions against Iran that Saeedi and other appointed officials and senior authorities of the Revolutionary Guards have asked people to “stand with the supreme leader” and “not surrender” to the pressures. Other officials too have regularly and repeatedly called on the public to persevere in their resistance.

On January 8, Saeedi had made similar remarks to the public by saying “If people stood firm with the supreme leader and moved ahead with him, all mounts would be conquered. Resistance is the secret of victory.”

Saeedi has also expressly warned that it is the duty of Iranians to defend the Islamic republic regime adding, “There is today no higher duty than to protect the Islamic republic.” In his arguments he has warned that if people retreated, then religion, the blood of martyrs and all struggles would be wasted and what would follow is oppression and the imposition of imperialism and Israel on the region and the defeat of all Iranian values.

Iran’s supreme leader and his appointees, including commanders of the Revolutionary Guards have repeatedly asserted in public that the “principal target” of international sanctions are the “people of Iran” as the West strives to increase economic pressure on people so that “people will give up and separate from the Islamic regime.”

In his latest talk, Saeedi also criticized the policies of Ahmadinejad’s administration to battle rising costs and said they were not sufficient. He said one of the ways of separating people from the regime was to launch the debate over economic sanctions. In earlier talks he had identified two goals that the “enemy” pursued: break people’s resistance - forcing them to protest - and, change the calculations of the supreme leader.

The internal bulletin of the Revolutionary Guards, which is viewed as an accurate barometer of the thinking in the higher echelons of the country’s leadership, has written that “the US is initially pursuing its goals through resolutions and other soft tactics. Then after the weakening of the government/regime in the military, economic, social and public support, it would energize the opponents of the regime and change the structure of the state through such shocks as elections, localized riots or even war.” Some of the analyses presented in the bulletin speak of the goals of the enemies of Iran to be the “disintegration of the regime from the inside.” Even the bulletin is publicly available, it is primarily distributed among selected groups of insiders and decision-makers inside and outside the Revolutionary Guards and carries weight because it is run by appointees of the supreme leader and presents views that are in line with his.

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