Sepāh-e Pāsdārān-e Enqelāb-e Eslāmi!
Sooo what all can happen Cap'n in despotries whenever the Highest levels of Command disagree?
Persia's Preacher Command and the regime's Praetorians may provide one bit of intell behind such a quiz.
Not even Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's utmost power, is immune to IRGC's predatory ways. On September 17, Khamenei told a group of IRGC commanders that he is not against "heroic flexibility" when confronted by adversaries.Pic - "While democracies fear external enemies, undemocratic regimes fear their own populations, whose choices and aspirations they suppress by military means."
Everyone understood this phrase to mean that Tehran should now be open to serious negotiations over its nuclear program. Rouhani shortly after flew to New York, emboldened that he had Khamenei's full backing to open a new round of talks with the Americans and the other nations in the P5+1 group.But not everyone in Tehran was on message. Two days before Rouhani's much-anticipated U.N. speech, an IRGC general sought to throw some cold water on the buzz around Rouhani and his mission of seeking détente with Great Satan.In a statement that seemed to question Khamenei's directive from a week earlier, the general said Iran "will not make any heroic exercise in regards to [its] nuclear rights." The man behind those words is General Hossein Salami, the second-in-command in the IRGC.
IRGC generals know better than openly defy the wishes of Khamenei. This is why they go about it cautiously. They do not explicitly condemn Rouhani for talking to 44, but call it a "tactical mistake." They don't say Ayatollah Khamenei's idea of "heroic exercise" is a bad one, but say it cannot apply to the one topic that matters, Iran's nuclear program.
If Khamenei wants to instil "heroic flexibility" in Iranian diplomacy, simply because the sanctions are bleeding Iran and his regime to death and he needs a way out -- then the IRGC generals do not have it in them to shoot down the trial balloons that he has launched. The IRGC generals are politically not that powerful that they can override the Supreme Leader.
But it is very obvious that the IRGC generals do not like any thawing in Iran's strained relations with the United States. They are principal stakeholders in the Iranian regime and fearful they will lose out if the status quo is somehow transformed.
The question is whether the generals will sit fuming at the sidelines and limit themselves to critiquing attempts to overhaul Iran's foreign policy or actively look for ways to sabotage it.