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Suleimani Responds to Rouhani’s Attack against IRGC | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani (C) attends Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s (not seen) meeting with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran, Iran on Sept. 18, 2016. Source: AFP/East News

London- Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani has revealed hidden dimensions in the dispute between the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Iranian government, when he lashed out at President Hassan Rouhani for criticizing the role of the IRGC in the country’s economic, political and media affairs.

In remarks on Tuesday, Suleimani warned against weakening the Islamic forces by “exposing them to various attacks”, adding that the IRGC has fought an “international war defending its allies in Syria and Iraq.”

In parallel comments, IRGC Commander General Mohammad Ali Jafari said in response to Rouhani: “Some believe that we are against dealing with the world and that we seek war, but I announce that the Revolutionary Guard wants peace, which will not be achieved unless our enemies stop launching wars against us.”

Meanwhile, well-informed sources suggested that the real reason behind the ongoing bickering was competition over three key ministries, namely the oil, intelligence and defense, ahead of the announcement of the new Iranian government next month.

Suleimani implicitly warned Iranian officials of standing against Religious Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, adding that the IRGC should be kept away from political disputes and should not be politicized, Mehr news agency reported.

Last month, the Iranian president strongly criticized the IRGC, which he described as a “government with a rifle”.

Rouhani also criticized the Revolutionary Guard intervening in the Iranian economy.

“A part of the national economy in the hands of a government that does not have military might and has been handed over authority by a government that does,” he stated.

Suleimani’s Tuesday remarks were made in his first appearance to the public following Iran’s presidential elections.

Speaking during a conference for IRGC leaders and fighters who participated in the first Gulf war, the Quds Force Commander said: “Had it not been for the Revolutionary Guard, the country would not have existed.”