In this regard, in March 2019, Khamenei appointed his lieutenant Ebrahim Raisi, the defeated candidate of the 2017 presidential elections, as the head of the Judiciary branch. Now, the supreme leader intends to appoint another thug Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf as the parliament speaker.
A look at Ghalibaf’s Resume
Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf was one of the commanders of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) during the Iran-Iraq war. He was personally responsible for employing many minors and teenagers to sweep minefields with their bodies. In the late 1980s, the IRGC headquarters appointed him as the IRGC commander for Gilan and Mazandaran provinces. Ghalibaf played a key role in the crackdown on protests in these provinces. To thank him for his services, the ayatollahs soon appointed him as the chief of the IRGC Ground Force.
Ghalibaf, as the obedient agent of Khamenei, founded the intelligence sector in the paramilitary Basij Force. The sector oversaw the Basij’s operation for Identifying and arresting the freedom-loving people and suppressing protesters. In 1994, the-IRGC commander-in-chief Mohsen Rezaei appointed Ghalibaf as the head of Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters. Notably, Khatam al-Anbiya base is sanctioned by the United States, European Union, and the United Nations for engaging in Iran’s covert nuclear projects, producing weapons of mass destruction, and acting on behalf of the IRGC. In 1997, he became the head of the IRGC Air Force. He continued his lip service to the religious tyranny by the expansion of the missile capacity of the regime that is directly used for more aggression in the region.
In 2000, Khamenei appointed Ghalibaf as the chief commander of the State Security Forces [Niru-ye Entezami]. Earlier, according to his remarks, he was personally engaged in an oppressive operation against the student protests in 1999. Ghalibaf also founded 110 police, the cruelty flash force that was supplied with advanced equipment to counter the “unrest.” Notably, the 110 police Force played an essential role in suppressing the impoverished people who frequently protested the leaders’ corruption and plundering.
Later, in 2005, Ghalibaf became Tehran’s Mayor as a part of the IRGC’s plan to occupy vital positions of power in the country. For twelve years, he was responsible for many oppressive and plundering plans, including gender segregation in Tehran municipality, the establishment of financial institutions that robbed the needy people of their properties and hundreds of thousands of creditors of their investments.
Additionally, Ghalibaf was the mastermind of the attack against the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, which was conducted by the ayatollahs’ club-wielders on January 2, 2016. At the time, he implemented the attack under the order of Khamenei to make a lot of noise in tandem with the nationwide protests against the government.
Ghalibaf’s Friendship with the Slain Quds Force’s Commander Qassem Soleimani
During the 2005 presidential elections campaign, Khamenei’s staff supported Ghalibaf. This institute spent huge amounts from the nation’s wealth to make him the regime’s president. However, the supreme leader changed his mind in the last moment and appointed another IRGC member Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the president. Ghalibaf remained Tehran’s Mayor.
Ghalibaf tried his luck again to run for the presidency in 2013. On May 12, 2012, Ghalibaf boasted his services as a club-wielder to Khamenei to persuade his superiors that he is more qualified to improve the government’s oppressive policies and preserving the ayatollahs in power. In an election campaign rally with several pro-Khamenei students, Ghalibaf admitted that he was personally involved in suppressing the Students Uprising in 1999. He was also the writer of a joint statement on behalf of IRGC commanders that demanded the then-president Mohammad Khatami to the brutal crackdown on protesting students. Khatami obliged.
“During the incidents of July 9, 1999, at Tehran University and its dormitory, I wrote that letter. I was with Mr. [Qassem] Soleimani. We stood firm. Many people criticized us. Even now, wherever we go, they still criticize us. When [people in the uprising] approached the leader’s [Khamenei] office, I was the commander of the Air Force. My photo exists on a 1,000-cc motorbike with a club in my hand along with Hossein Khaleghi… This Ghalibaf was the commander of security forces in the incidents of July 9, 1999,” Ghalibaf said.
Ghalibaf’s Methodology for Oppression as Commander of Security Forces
Even other oppressive officials know Ghalibaf by his unconventional methods for suppression. “After firing the [Tehran] University alley [a reference to the Students Uprising] …, I firmly argued in the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and didn’t respect the dignity of the council. I told them that tonight, as the commander of security forces, I will crush and gather everyone who come to the streets to [protest]. This [former commander-in-chief of the IRGC Mohammad Ali] Jafari was witness… I finally succeeded to take the permission of the military presence and opening fire by security forces,” Ghalibaf admitted.
In the third round of debates for the 2017 presidential elections, president Hassan Rouhani raised a part of the oppressive role and plundering of Ghalibaf. “I had the case of Mr. Ghalibaf in 2005. However, I didn’t let it be published and argued with several people in the secretariat of the SNSC. I reckoned that during the elections campaign no one should be informed [about the case]. Mr. Ghalibaf, now, you wouldn’t sit here if I didn’t do you that favor,” Rouhani said in elections debate in May 2017.
“Mr. Ghalibaf, you always planned to put [protesters] into ‘pipes.’ Every time, you were saying in the secretariat, ‘Let me put these students into pipes over two hours. If we didn’t object to you, now, all the Iranian universities would have been filled with pipes,” ILNA news agency quoted Rouhani as saying on May 12, 2017.
Installing the Billboards at the Expense of Needy People
Security forces’ attacks on the merchant sellers are one of the heartbreaking scenes in Iran. Ghalibaf was the inventor of this inhuman mistreatment to bypass society’s real problems. However, he spent most revenue of Tehran for his own publicity expenditures.
“Tehran Mayor has the worse function toward the impoverished, needy segment and slum-dwellers of the capital’s population… In fact, Ghalibaf’s methods were in line to escape the mayor from criticism rather than organizing and solving the workers and merchant sellers… His forces hit street vendors when he was criticized over heavy traffic in downtown streets…Tehran mayor has raised the city revenue but at the expense of the poor people’s tablecloth. However, it is too bitter when we realize that the revenue has spent on General [Ghalibaf]’s publicity billboards and media advertisement… Tehran Mayor, in fact, has crushed the needy people by his paths over the past twelve years,” the state-run Aftab News wrote on April 26, 2016.
The prospective parliament speaker also has a notorious background in plundering cases in his position as Tehran Mayor. His deputies at the Tehran municipality were paid an amount estimated to be the equivalent of around 31-year payment of a worker.
Additionally, there is a flagrant rift between Tehran municipality’s incomes and expenditures, according to comments of the chief of the budget committee at Ghalibaf’s tenure as mayor.
During the 2017 presidential debates, Rouhani’s first vice-president Eshaq Jahangiri revealed that Ghalibaf had offered Tehran’s ten-billion-toman towers to his allies for two billion tomans alone. However, his allies didn’t eventually pay the price.
Jahangiri also mentioned that the former mayor of Tehran was the founder of fraudulent institutes such as Ghavamin banks, Shahr bank, Sarmayeh bank, which have plundered many of impoverished people’s properties during recent years.
Truly, in such circumstances, Ali Khamenei grapples to rescue his system by any means while he is surrounded by breathtaking crises inside the country and abroad. In this context, he reached out to notorious oppressors such as Ebrahim Raisi and Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf to stand against the people’s will for freedom and democracy and the international community’s demands for quitting adventurism beyond.