Accessibility links

Breaking News

Iranian Commander Perturbed By Opposition Support In Army

Iranian Army Commander Ataollah Salehi worried about "seditious" elements within the Iranian armed forces.
Iranian army commander-in-chief Ataollah Salehi has expressed concern that some servicemen sympathize with the opposition Green Movement that emerged in the wake of last year's disputed presidential election, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Salehi said "some soldiers" had pictures of Green Movement leaders in their barrack rooms, an indication that young people are beginning to doubt the founding principles of the Islamic Republic.

Salehi's comments were reported on December 5 by the Iranian Labor News Agency but removed from its website later the same day.

Referring to the Green Movement as "sedition," Salehi added, "No one should feel that the army is lenient with sedition." He also warned that "the seditious" would return stronger than before.

German-based political analyst Behrouz Khaligh told Radio Farda that Salehi's remarks show that the Green Movement has even influenced Iran's armed forces over the past year.

He added that the Revolutionary Guard, unlike the Iranian army, played a significant role in the suppression of the post-presidential election protests.

The discontent within the army has been far greater than within other branches of the military, so the Revolutionary Guard has tried to keep the army under its constant control, Khaligh said.

In July, Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Mohammad Ali Jafari referred to "some revolutionary guards" who allegedly support the "sedition."

Read in Persian here.