It’s not every day that a former hostage-taker and a man essential to the founding of a designated terrorist organization throws his hat into the ring for president, not even in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Tehran
That is why all eyes should be on 63-year-old Brigadier General and veteran of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hossein Dehghan, who expressed interest in participating in the June 2021 Iranian presidential election.
“I will enter [lit. come] with strength and I believe that the people must be saved from the current situation,” confirmed Dehghan.
Several other IRGC-linked individuals, be they men who formerly donned the uniform in a leadership capacity or those who now serve as heads of key parastatal institutions and guard Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s wealth, are also reportedly considering a presidential bid.
None, however, appears to have sparked the storm of analyses over military men in Iranian politics like Dehghan.
And with good reason. The troika of Dehghan’s biography, the domestic implications of his candidacy, and its impact on U.S. policy are too large to ignore.
Dehghan’s Revolutionary Resume
For starters, Dehghan partook in the U.S.-Iran Hostage Crisis and has been pictured in Iranian media alongside a blindfolded American diplomat to burnish his revolutionary credentials.
Dehghan also joined the IRGC in its earliest days and saw service during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, a defining conflict for revolutionary Iran with far-reaching implications, including for current U.S. policy.
During the war, Dehghan served as commander of the IRGC’s Sarallah base responsible for Tehran from 1984-1986.
Prior to that, Israeli scholars relate that Dehghan was sent to Syria and Lebanon in response to the 1982 invasion of Lebanon by Israel.
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