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Monday, June 19, 2006

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards dwindling in ranks

Iran Focus Tehran, Iran, Jun. 19 – Since the international community began to challenge Tehran over its suspected nuclear weapons program a few years ago, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and its affiliated Bassij force have been dwindling in ranks.

To counter the drop in size and strength, the IRGC’s politico-ideological directorate has set up a department known as the Hadian Siasi, or political guides, tasked with boosting the morale of the IRGC and Bassij.

“The top brass in the Revolutionary Guards central command have referred to the drop in the number of Guards and Bassijis as a crisis”, a source in Tehran close to the elite military force told Iran Focus on the condition of anonymity.

Among the missions of the Hadian Siasi is to deal with the issue of discontent among family members of those in the IRGC. Many people who join the IRGC or Bassij soon find themselves being shunned by their own relatives.

Abdollah Davarzani, in charge of political guidance at the IRGC, said recently that a network of 3,735 IRGC personnel and 5,261 members of the Bassij had been incorporated into the Hadian Siasi department.

Iran has a dual military system with a regular armed forces as well as the IRGC. Both report directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
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