By Bahram Rafiei, Rooz Online
On the eve of the formation of Iran's new cabinet and following the various declarations of the country's military organizations that announce their readiness to cooperate with the new administration, the head of the Basij para-military force affiliated to the Revolutionary Guards once again called on newly elected president Hassan Rowhani to pay attention to "domestic potentials" while adding, "we must realize the benefits of international sanctions."
Head of Iran's Basij Militia Mohammad-Reza Naghdi
Speaking at Tehran University, Guards general Mohammad-Reza Naghdi said, "Contrary to what some believe, the economic epic is in the hands of the public and it is impossible for a government to accomplish this without the creativity of the public."
By asserting that the accomplishment of the goal of creating an economic epic rests with the domestic potentials and talents inside the country, Naghdi said, "If a government can identify this potential and bring them into the forth, then the economic epic will be accomplished. And if we appreciate the economic sanctions and make a commitment towards an independent economy, we shall become among the few advanced countries of the world because if we set our eyes on outside forces, then we will most certainly loose."
Naghdi, who is also the second in command at the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) force, continued his preaching to Rowhani's administration. "The government should know that people are on board in solving the economic problems and that there is no need for anything outside the country to solve the problems. The cause for all of the "greatness" that has been created is focus on the domestic (potentials), where exports and the progress of science and technology and political power have all improved and increased while all the elements of American power have declined and today the US is the most disgraced country in the world."
These remarks come following the various announcements by IRGC that phases 14 and 15 of the South Pars refinery have been completed and launched by the Khatam al-Anbia garrison belonging to the IRGC.
An IRGC spokesperson general Ramezan Sharif had proclaimed that the "launching of this project demonstrated that the IRGC is capable of meeting the needs of the country through the fulfillment of its legal duties, the economy and protection of the Islamic revolution."
In contrast to these messages, prior to Rowhani's electoral victory in June, various spokespersons of the IRGC openly accused Rowhani of being duplicitous and surrendering to the West, and even threatening him through their statements.
In that light, Naghdi has called on the new president to issue orders for greater participation of the military agencies in the economic spheres of the country. For example on June 24 while visiting the province of Gorgan, Naghdi had said, "While the mobilization potential of the public can open many knots, this potential has not been used to its best. If the new administration uses this massive potential, something that earlier governments have failed to accomplish, then achievements of epic proportion will be made."
This is the second time during last week that Naghdi made public comments on the subject. "There is a public notion that the political epic was accomplished by the people, while the economic one will be achieved by the government. This is a completely inaccurate thought because an economic epic is not possible without the active role of the public. Every Iranian must turn into a productive element." Then in a subsequent talk during an inaugural event Naghdi clarified his thoughts by saying that public participation meant the presence of the Basij force.
IRGC's weekly mouthpiece, Sobh Azadegan, which operates under the direction of a commander directly appointed by Iran's leader ayatollah Khamenei, echoed this message. It wrote, "Following the announcement of the results of the presidential elections, there was a wave of support for the new president, which was a political epic, which if pursued will result in the largest economic epic. In this light, the IRGC is the principal defender of the Islamic revolution which was the first organization to send its congratulations to the new president." It continued, "In view of IRGC's role in many fields where the government and the public could not participate in the past, one can say that the force is a powerful arm for the supreme leader and can be one for the future administration. It can through the Basij work to eradicate poverty and through the Khatam al-Anbia base, and others, implement grand projects that have not been implemented by the private sector."
The article praised the Basij and called it "the largest social network in the country, and perhaps the world, with massive potential of young people that can be used to fulfill the economic epic of the country."
While military organizations and forces in the Islamic republic operate under the direction of ayatollah Khamenei, and other institutions such as the Majlis have no supervisory role over them, they continue to strongly depend on the official budgets of the country and the government for economic benefits.
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