One of the main challenges faced by the Iranian regime over the past couple of years is the top-level penetration of highly trained security agents, from various intelligence services in other countries, into its high-profile security force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
This situation has become more serious following the elimination of some of the regime’s nuclear scientists, including Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was regarded as the chief of the regime’s nuclear program.
Bedraggled with corruption, the regime’s IRGC officers have become soft targets and are used as snitches in foreign intelligence services, something that has been admitted by many of the regime’s officials as the main weakness of its security forces.
In July, the regime was forced to dismiss the head of the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization Hossein Taeb, due to the weak response of this organization. It should be noted that Taeb was considered one of the most important intelligence figures, who was close to the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei and his son.
Last year, Ali Younesi, the regime’s minister of intelligence from 1999 to 2005, warned the regime’s officials of the consequences of their security forces being infiltrated, saying, “In the last 10 years, unfortunately, infiltration in different parts of the country is such that all the officials of the Islamic Republic should be worried about their lives.”
In 2020, Hossein Dehghan, the regime’s former Minister of Defence, admitted that ‘infiltration’ and ‘breaches of security’ were what led to the assassination of Fakhrizadeh. At the same time, Hossein Alaei, a former IRGC commander, emphasized that the regime must examine the weakness that is inherent in the regime’s structure and security apparatuses, which enable such assassinations.
In an interview published by outlets close to Khamenei’s faction, IRGC member Hamid Naghachian, who was once the head of the regime’s founder Ruhollah Khomeini’s protection team, claimed that Khomeini was poisoned by drugs. Despite this cranked-out claim, his request to intensify the protection and security of Khamenei seems well founded.
The words of the Naghachian came up recently when the IRGC’s public relations team announced that Hossein Marashifar had succeeded Ebrahim Jabari as the commander of the Waliamar Protection Corps, a special unit of the IRGC, whose duty is to protect Khamenei and his family.
Naghachian also repeatedly mentioned foreign influence in the regime as a threat, stating, “We have been involved with infiltration since the beginning of the revolution.”
It is clear that Khomeini’s ‘poisoning’ incident is no longer his subject, Khamenei is now the main subject. Khamenei has personally spoken and warned many times about the infiltration. so is not unlikely that Naghachian now feels that the threat against Khamenei is real.
During the 25th gathering of Friday Prayers’ Imams on July 25, as published by the ISNA news agency, the regime’s interior minister Ahmad Vahidi pointed to the regime’s security weakness and the threat of infiltration, saying, “Today, the enemies are trying to impose their influence on us with new bridgeheads in this area. The enemy has launched an all-out war against us, which has different dimensions; Its security aspect is based on terror, and destruction, and is taking advantage of the wave of dissatisfaction.”
He added, “The infiltration had two parts; Part of it was to disrupt the decisions of officials and managers, and part of it was in the political field. Sometimes some officials said things that were not consistent with any logic. These words were caused by the damage we suffered in the information war.”