Is Iran moving towards pseudo-military rule?

 There are indications that the government will return to extremism in Iranian politics. Until the time of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, political divisions were not very visible. 

In his later period, the power struggle between the reformists and the fundamentalists can be noticed. 

The power struggle between them has now turned into a power struggle between the reformist and revolutionary guards.

The fight over next June's presidential election has become more pronounced. Most of the potential candidates are former members of the Revolutionary Guards.

 Former Defense Minister and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's military adviser Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan is leading the talks. 

Former Revolutionary Guards chief General Mohsen Rezaei is also in discussion. Both have experience in the Iran-Iraq war and are expected to gain the support of extremists.

 Neither are extremists or reformists, but both are fierce critics of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's domestic and international policies.

Besides, General Rezaei is close and blessed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Outside of these two, Saeed Jalili, a former head of the National Security Force and a member of the team negotiating a nuclear program with the West, could emerge as a strong candidate from the extremists. 

In addition to his political experience, he has also shown expertise in foreign policy. If Jalili becomes president, he is expected to be able to handle Iran's domestic and foreign policy efficiently. 

Also, another general has resigned from the military and is preparing for the election, according to Western media reports.

 So far, it has been seen that the number of former Revolutionary Guards officers is more than the potential candidates of the radical camp.

Naturally, the reformist leaders are not taking the former generals' desire to become president normally.

 Although there are no constitutional restrictions, many, including President Hassan Rouhani, do not want Iran to be ruled by a military general in the future. President Rouhani has called on military officials to stay out of politics.

Despite criticizing the former generals' political ambitions, the reformist camp has yet to determine a candidate. Former President Mohammad Khatami and current Foreign Minister Javed Zarif were in the talks. 

But Khatami is banned for criticizing the 2009 election. And Javed Zarif is not interested in the election. As a result, it is more likely that these two will not be candidates from the reformists. 

Speaker Ali Larijani can fight on behalf of the reformists. Although he started politics as a radical, he has recently joined the reformist party.

Two issues will be important to voters in Iran's presidential election. One is the ability to stand firm against US aggression. Another is to change President Hassan Rouhani's economic policy.

 On the other hand, the radical candidates are ahead of the reformists. The extremists are sharply criticizing the United States on the one hand, and Hassan Rouhani on the other.

In addition to the voters, the United States is deeply involved in the Iranian election. Israel's security, its stability in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and its politics depend largely on Iran's regional strategy. 

So the West is trying to influence Iranian voters in various ways. The think tanks of the United States have come down with various information, data and research. 

The Washington Institute is promoting that former members of the Revolutionary Guard are in an advantageous position as candidates. If any of them wins, Iran will go under the pseudo-military rule.

In February, the Atlantic Council released a survey conducted by the University of Maryland. It says Iranians' attitudes toward the United States are changing. 

According to a January-February poll, 29 per cent of Iranians consider US President Joe Biden an enemy. Under President Donald Trump, 60 per cent of Iranians viewed the United States as an enemy.

However, 83 per cent of citizens still have a negative attitude towards the United States. The survey also said that Iranians blamed Hassan Rouhani's misguided policies and corruption for their economic woes rather than US sanctions. 

Eighty-four per cent of Iranians believe that the next president should radically change Rouhani's policies.

As Iraq and Syria fall into the hands of Iran, the main purpose of the United States is to weaken the Revolutionary Guards. 

The Revolutionary Guard is one of the main causes of US headaches in Middle East politics. General Soleimani of the Revolutionary Guards alone changed the map of the war in Iraq and Syria.

If a former Revolutionary Guards officer or extremist is elected, it could bring further disaster for the United States. So the United States wants a reformist to be elected. 

Then the Biden administration may come up with a package to provide various benefits including lifting the ban.

 However, the conditions may be to halt the nuclear program and reduce the power of the Revolutionary Guards. The only obstacle in this path is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In 2013, he was also interested in electing several former officers of the Revolutionary Guard. But at that time, due to the intervention of Ali Khamenei, the conflict did not take many shapes.

Instead, Hassan Rouhani came out victorious. This time it is obscure that Ali Khamenei would do that. Then one can be elected from the radical camp.

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