K Sadjadpour on IRGC

Bernard Gwertzman has a “great interview”:http://www.cfr.org/publication/13466/ with CEIP’s Karim Sadjadpour. A lot of it is about the IRGC.

This one paragraph about the Corps’ ideological composition caught my attention:

bq. The Revolutionary Guards comprise about 150,000 in number. They’re not a monolithic group. *There’s a common perception right now that the Revolutionary Guards are very closely aligned with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But I would say it’s the opposite. President Ahmadinejad has to pander to the Revolutionary Guards to project his own power, because he doesn’t have a very strong popular base.* And it’s difficult to describe them as a group of 150,000 hardliners because *in 2001 three-quarters of them voted for the liberal Mohammed Khatami’s re-election as president.* In some ways, the Revolutionary Guards are more reflective of the Iranian society than we think…

I would have assumed that a group of 150,000 Iranians wouldn’t be monolithic, but I hadn’t seen those numbers before.

Speaking of matters Iranian that I don’t know much about, Karim also had a good “piece”:http://www.twq.com/07winter/docs/07winter_sadjadpour.pdf in _TWQ_ about Iranian public opinion RE: the nuclear program.

Please note that no one was kicked in the nuts during the writing of this post.

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