On March 26th, the Dezful website published an exclusive interview with Gholamali Rashid, the Major General of Revolutionary Guards, Deputy Chief of the General Command Headquarters of Armed Forces and Deputy of the Supreme National Security Council. He discussed the most important issues that the regime in Tehran faces in the current Persian year. Rashid stated in the interview:
“Some inside the country suggest that we retreat from our nuclear stance and forgo the nuclear issue. However, [the truth is that] the world has no problem with our system. Therefore, if the nuclear issue is resolved they will go on and make an issue of the human rights and support for terrorism. We are now at a criticaljuncture.
Make no mistake that if Bashar Al-Assad in Syria falls, the focus will move to Lebanon and Hezbollah, and then they will go after Iraq [and finally come after us].
The current Persian year is a pivotal point in the trend of political, social, economic and even foreign relations. The recent political and social developments in Iran, along with the economic conditions and the nuclear negotiations, mutually affect each other.”
Rashid is the only Major General of the IRGC that has never commanded forces. He has always been one of the top military strategists, and because of this Khamenei appointed him Deputy Chief of the General Command Headquarters of Armed Forces. Rashidmade interesting points that give his assessment on the developments in Iran in the current Persian year, which started on March 21st.
Rashid also commented on the nuclear negotiations:
“The outcome of the nuclear negotiations, with the permission of Khamenei, will become apparent at the end of the year. There are three possibilities:
The first is that the negotiations will bear fruit and Iran’s nuclear issue will be resolved. Statesmen consider the negotiations as tough, but they are optimistic.
The second possibility is that the negotiations will fail. If so, the West will put the blame on us.
The third possibility is that the negotiations will drag on and on. In this case, some of the weaker sanctions will be removed, while the bulk of the sanctions will remain in place.”
Considering the security threats facing the regime, Rashid made this assessment: “The security threat against Iran is escalating. In the past two years, the West tried to direct the developments in the region against our military objectives and they were successful; this threat has been increasing in Lebanon, Iraq and southeastern part of the country.”
Commenting of the developments in Syria, Rashid stated: “In the fighting in Syria, at the suggestion of the IRGC Quds Force, a force similar to our Basij was formed by the name of Defensive Forces. In Syria our commanders give them advice and one of our suggestions was this force, which was approved.”