Revolutionary Guard leader Major General Mohammad Yazdi announced on Monday that special taskforces will be formed to counter the social shockwave witnessed in Tehran, Asharq al-Awsat reports.
The move by the ultra-conservatives was immediately slammed by the Iranian interior ministry as it rushed to deny ever requesting any help for upholding public security. Soon after Yazdi announced resorting to special units to fight off and neutralize ‘outcasts,’ Interior Ministry Spokesman Salman Samani denied claims by the Tehran-based Yazdi on authorities seeking Revolutionary Guard help.
“The Interior Ministry made no requests to the Guard concerning public security,” said Samani.
Revolutionary Guard Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari chose Yazdi to replace Muhammad Rasulullah base commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Kazemini. The Muhammad Rasulullah base is responsible for coordinating between Revolutionary Guard forces and the Basij to protect the capital Tehran in crisis situations.
Baisj forces are a paramilitary militia comprising civilian volunteers and were a part of an independent organization until 1981, when it was officially incorporated into the Revolutionary Guard organization structure by the Iranian Parliament.
Widening rifts between the Guard and the Iranian Interior Ministry has become the spotlight of an emerging social crisis.
The leader of the Revolutionary Guard, in a speech at a meeting of the Tehran Municipal Council, attributed his forces’ decision to launch special patrols in Iranian cities to 23 social threats spotted on the Guard and the Basij’s radar. Jafari spoke about “social turmoil” in the Iranian capital requiring direct intervention by his conservative forces.
The last presidential election, which took place in May, witnessed a major debate on social crises between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his opponents. Conservative candidate Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf tried to use the social crisis, including rampant unemployment and poverty, to rally the public against Rouhani, but the latter made promises to boost social freedoms.
In the presidential elections, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, issued several warnings to Iranian election candidates not to trigger issues that may rock the country’s social fabric. On the other hand, Yazdi still said that drug addiction “reached its peak” in Tehran, in a move to justify the launch of special inspection patrols in there. Allegedly, Revolutionary Guard patrols are meant to crackdown on drug traffickers.