Khamenei Divorces Rev Guards from Nuclear Negotiations, Awards Them Control of Mid East Trouble Spots
Before Iran’s discordant Islamic regime tears itself apart, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is working on a redistribution of tasks and authority for separating the feuding factions and cooling the animosity raging between President Hassan Rouhani’s following (and his sponsor, ex-president and current Expediency Council head, Hashemi Rafsanjani), and the militant camp led the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) commander, Gen. Ali Jaafari.
DEBKA Weekly’s exclusive Iranian sources have obtained exclusive access to Khamenei's four-part blueprint and the policy redistribution it heralds:
1. He has persuaded the Revolutionary Guards chiefs to stand aside from the international negotiations Iran is conducting with the P5+1 (the five UN Security Council members plus Germany) by offering them the following commitments:
a). No restrictions on 5-percent uranium enrichment.
b). The heavy water reactor under construction in Arak will not be converted to a light water reactor, as demanded by the US, but built as planned for plutonium production.
c) The Fordo underground uranium enrichment plant will continue functioning and America’s demand for its shutdown rejected.
d) Iran’s missile development and production will not be interrupted. It will be financed from Revolutionary Guards funds rather than the state.
e) Iran’s clandestine nuclear facilities will not be exposed to the IAEA and all data about these hidden sites kept secret from the IAEA.
f) The IAEA will continue to be denied direct access to personnel employed in Iran’s military nuclear program.
The IRGC given authority over Mid East trouble spots
2. The IRGC’s business empire will remain independent and outside the realm of state interference. This leaves the Guards in undisputed control of the lucrative import and export of oil and its distillates, as well as other profitable import-export trades.
3. The IRGC – and especially its external operational and intelligence arm, the Al Qods Brigades, are granted full control over national strategic military and diplomatic policy-making for Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians. President Rouhani and his foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif will have no standing in Tehran’s decisions in these foreign areas of operation.
4. At the same time, the IRGC is excluded from Iran’s delicate relations in the Gulf region, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as Turkey, Egypt and Afghanistan.
In practical terms, Khamenei, Rouhani, Rafsanjani and Jaafari have struck a deal which puts in the hands of the extremist Revolutionary Guards the task of cementing Iran’s military and political influence and asserting its will in strife-ridden Iraq, Syria and Lebanon on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, as well as the Palestinians – hence, Israel.
The affairs of those trouble spots are handed over to the extremist Revolutionary Guards leadership as its exclusive domain, with no look-in permitted by the Rouhani government.
Al Qods chief scraps Lebanese unity accord
The Obama administration trusted in nuclear diplomacy for an open door to Tehran’s cooperation in reaching peaceful resolutions of the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts. The US now finds itself having to contend instead with a two-headed, radicalized regime in Tehran, preoccupied with internal dissent rather than external coexistence.
And the IRGC is a fast mover in its newly-assigned terrain.
As debkafile’s military sources first revealed Monday, Feb. 10, the Guards military command has ordered the Lebanese Hizballah to deepen its military involvement in Syria. Al Qods Brigades chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani took responsibility for executing this order and managing its repercussions on Lebanon’s domestic stability and the Syrian and Lebanese borders with Israel.
The immediate outcome was the scrapping of the national unity government pact in Beirut shortly after it was brokered by Foreign Minister Zarif during his mid-January visit to Beirut. This deal raised hopes for an end to the government crisis plaguing Lebanon for more than a year – until this week, when Gen. Soleimani instructed Hizballah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah to pull out.
The Zarif arrangement would have granted the Shiite bloc 9 ministers in the new government – parity with the Sunni-led March 14 Coalition, and more than the six placed at the discretion of President Michel Suleiman. The Iranian general’s action put paid to Lebanon’s hope of stable government in the foreseeable future, betokening the turbulence promised the region by Khamenei’s redistribution of national tasks.