NewsOtherIran elections candidates: Mohsen Rezai

Iran elections candidates: Mohsen Rezai

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Iran Focus: Major General Mohsen Rezai was Commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from 1981 to 1997. The IRGC, and in particular its Qods (Jerusalem) Force, are tasked with “liberating Jerusalem through Baghdad” in stark contrast to the country’s regular armed forces which are purely for defending the country against foreign attacks. He currently serves as Secretary of the State Expediency Council. Mohsen Rezai’s life story is one of the most bizarre, and yet typical, cases of extreme make-over among the Islamic regime’s elite. Iran Focus

Age: 50 (Born in 1954)

Position: Secretary of State Expediency Council, former Commander of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps

Career Highlights:

Major General Mohsen Rezai was Commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from 1981 to 1997. The IRGC, and in particular its Qods (Jerusalem) Force, are tasked with “liberating Jerusalem through Baghdad” in stark contrast to the country’s regular armed forces which are purely for defending the country against foreign attacks.

He currently serves as Secretary of the State Expediency Council.

Mohsen Rezai’s life story is one of the most bizarre, and yet typical, cases of extreme make-over among the Islamic regime’s elite. From his humble origins in the impoverished rural areas near Masjid Soleiman in southwest Iran, Rezai rose to become one of the most feared figures in the clergy-dominated Iran. He dropped his strange forename, Sabzevar, and opted for a more common one, Mohsen. In the mid-1970s, he joined a small Islamic fundamentalist group that advocated armed opposition to the Shah’s regime.

When the clergy rose to power in 1979, Rezai became one of the founders of the mullahs’ private army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. He was first the head of intelligence and later became the commander of the entire force. His unrivalled ruthlessness in dealing with opponents of the theocratic regime and his complete dedication to Khomeini’s ideology made him an ideal military commander in the nascent state.

Rezai played a key role in setting up the Iranian regime’s apparatus for carrying out terrorist attacks abroad. He was directly involved in the planning and execution of some of the biggest terrorist acts committed by the clerical regime outside Iran, including the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marines compound in Beirut, which left behind 242 dead, and the bombing of the Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1994, which killed 86 people.

He is seen in some circles to be a close confidant of former President and the leading election contender Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and some analysts saw him as Rafsanjani’s Trojan horse, who would pull out of the race at the eleventh hour to give the 70-year-old cleric a chance to secure the largest percentage of the votes.

In his own Words:

“I consider myself a new rightist and even more rightist than many colleagues.”
(Iran’s official news agency, IRNA, March 26, 2005)

“[President Khatami’s second term”> has been marked by submissive diplomacy, missed opportunities, and unilateral concessions in exchange for minimal financial returns.”
(Entekhab daily, April 27, 2003)

“I am worried about the future of the Islamic Republic, because poverty and [drug”> addiction are soaring in the country. We can no longer lie to the public, because people have become aware and fully understand the issues.”
(Iran’s state-run student news agency, ISNA, June 06, 2005)

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