The IRGC’s Dark Horse for Iran’s 2021 Elections: Saeed Mohammad

The IRGC’s Dark Horse for Iran’s 2021 Elections Saeed Mohammad
The IRGC’s Dark Horse for Iran’s 2021 Elections: Saeed Mohammad



Saeed Mohammad represents a different kind of IRGC member. Could he emerge as the Guard’s ‘dark horse’ in Iran’s 2021 presidential elections?  

2021 will be the first year since 1989 in which first-term presidents will take office in both the United States and Iran.


Yet, unlike the former where every ballot counts, in the Islamic Republic, only one vote matters: that of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who at 81-years old has ruled for over 31 years.


The stakes could hardly be higher for the aging Ayatollah as he prepares the foundations of a post-Khamenei Islamic Republic and searches for the right man to secure his legacy. 

Earlier this year, Khamenei called for a “young and Hezbollah (ideologically hardline) government”  to become president.


But this was not a consequence of outgoing president Donald Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ policy against Tehran as is often suggested in West-centric analyses of Iran, nor should we anticipate a shift in Tehran’s calculus with the incoming Biden administration.


Rather, Khamenei is trying to ensure his hardline Islamist vision lives on after his death and, in doing so, he is empowering the most radical elements in the Islamic Republic.  


As a direct result the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – the regime’s ideological army – is increasing its power at an unprecedented rate.


This is hardly surprising given it has consistently shown it is prepared to spill blood on Iran’s streets to uphold Khamenei’s Islamist order.


Today, the IRGC controls the Iranian parliament in all but name and, with less than a year to go until the presidential elections, it has set its eyes on the executive.


There are already a number of high-profile prospective candidates for the presidency, such as Hossein Dehghan, IRGC commander and senior military advisor to Khamenei, and Parviz Fattah, head of the Khamenei-run ideological-charitable organization, Bonyad Mostazafan.


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