Iranian President Hassan Rohani has called on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps to take on large national projects but stay out of politics.
Iranian media report that in a meeting with commanders and senior staff of the IRGC, the Iranian president said: “With our economy under target, the Guards have to move in and take on three or four large national projects.”
He added: “While the IRGC should be aware of politics, it should not interfere in it because the Guards belong to all of the people of Iran.”
He stressed that he puts no stock in rumours that try to paint the Guards as “rivals” of the people. “The Guards are not a like a simple contractor to be a rival to the people or the private sector,” Rohani said; “Today there are important projects that the private sector does not have the capacity to take on, and this is where the IRGC can step in.”
Some people criticized the growing economic power of the IRGC under the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad administration, saying large contracts were given to the Guards without even the proper legal bidding procedures.
Rohani, however, referred to the sharp drop in the country’s oil revenues and said that just as the IRGC stepped in to reconstruct the country after the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, it can no also enter the arena to take on large national projects and relieve the government of some of its “heavy burden.”
The head of the IRGC, Aziz Jafari, announced that the Guards are prepared to offer their assistance to the administration.