Ares, «Cagle Cartoons»
Dieter Bednarz e Erich Follath escrevem na Der Spiegel sobre a Guarda Revolucionária do Irão, os Pasdaran. São a mais importante fonte de poder do regime. Esta poderosa organização para-militar é a responsável por colocar o fim aos protestos nas ruas, por espiar os membros da oposição e controlar o programa nuclear iraniano. Mohammad Ali Jafari, o comandate da Guarda Revolucionária, é um dos homens mais poderosos do regime. São também o alvo de sanções da administração Obama e estão planeadas sanções por parte da ONU:
[…] From the beginning, one man oversaw the Pasdaran and promoted its rise to power: Ayatollah Khamenei, Khomeini’s personal representative and successor who has been Iran’s supreme leader for the last 20 years. He recognized early on that the Revolutionary Guards could become his most important source of support, and he made sure that it received privileges right from the start of his time in office.
The Pasdaran now counts 125,000 men, making it about a third the size of the regular army. Nevertheless, its leader, Mohammad Ali Jafari, is indisputably the most powerful general in the country. He also controls 300,000 reservists and, more important, the fanatics of the voluntary Basij militia, which has an estimated 100,000 members. In times of crisis, however, the Basij is believed to be able to muster up to 1 million activists. It is these “moral police” who, under the command of the Pasdaran, have been most active in violently assaulting the opposition since last summer.
The general has become the backbone of the regime. Unlike his counterparts in the regular army, Jafari also controls a gigantic economic empire. The Pasdaran has ruthlessly hijacked the economy of its own country, with the support of its leader Khamenei. No one knows how many companies the Revolutionary Guard has already taken over, but co-founder Mohsen Sazegara estimates that it “controls more than 100 different businesses” — from export companies for household goods to producers of automobile spare parts. The Pasdaran is believed to have established more than 500 offices of Iranian companies worldwide. […]