Iran’s Revolutionary Guard uses pandemic to strengthen its grip
Iranian public health officials downplayed the claim, which was widely ridiculed on social media. Yet Salami’s TV pitch was merely a more theatrical rendering of a message that Iran’s hard-line rulers have been seeking to deliver in recent weeks. The country’s elite security force is aggressively promoting itself as Iran’s true guardian during the pandemic, a provider of medical treatment, clinics, relief aid and — occasionally — even dubious “cures” and fixes.
Iran has been among the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus, with an official death toll of more than 5,000, a figure that many outside experts think vastly understates the virus’s true impact. But while the outbreak continues to ravage the country and its economy, the Revolutionary Guard and its allies are seizing opportunities amid the crisis to expand their already powerful base while also cracking down on public displays of discontent, Western intelligence officials and Iran analysts said.
But now, with the explicit support of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the army, Revolutionary Guard and its paramilitary Basij force have taken command of …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]