Green Voice of Freedom, or Jaras, as one of the leading news organizations of the Green Movement in Iran, said in a report that “All the responsibilities related to Internal security of Iran have been given to IRGC (Islamic Republic Guard Corp).”
An informed source told Jaras that this decision came from the High Counsel of National Security, Iran’s highest security office, and that with this decision, the IRGC will be able to control even the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence. For many years IRGC has been running shadowy and parallel intelligence and covert operations to the Ministry of Intelligence, a situation that was objected to many times during the Presidency of Mr. Khatami by him, his government and newspapers supporting the reformist.
IRGC unlawfully listened in on opposition parties and writers and took down the websites owned by dissidents of the Islamic Republic. There were talks of encounters and arguments between the Intelligence Ministry and IRGC on several occasions.
The supporters of the Green Movement and its leaders, Mir Hussein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, believe that IRGC and the covert operations of this military establishment were the means by which Mr. Ahamadinejad achieved his coup-like victory in the June election of 2009.
Jaras writes that, according to this bill, the sole responsibilities of the Ministry of Intelligence are in regard to external security, espionage and counter espionage. The responsibilities of suppressing demonstrators; controlling the parties; putting pressure on political activists; breaking of labor and student strikes; confronting any activities by women, minorities and religious activists; and controlling prisons and interrogations are the duties of IRGC.
The Jaras website adds that this a great victory for Aziz Jafari, the head of IRGC, and other high ranking officials of Sepah in gaining more power during the past year and a half. With this bill, internal security is out of the hands of government and Parliament and is given to the hands of a military group under the supervision of the supreme leader. This amounts to yet another step in concentrating Mr. Khamenei’s absolute power.
According to the Constitution, Parliament can ask about the activities of the Ministry of Intelligence and have it under its review. Iranian Parliament is now closer to a more moderate political party than the Iranian government.