Khamenei’s Military Adviser Runs for Iranian Presidential Elections

Khamenei and his military advisor Hossein Dehghan. Photo: Khamenei’s website
Khamenei and his military advisor Hossein Dehghan. Photo: Khamenei’s website
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Khamenei’s Military Adviser Runs for Iranian Presidential Elections

Khamenei and his military advisor Hossein Dehghan. Photo: Khamenei’s website
Khamenei and his military advisor Hossein Dehghan. Photo: Khamenei’s website

A military adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has officially announced running for the presidential elections, scheduled for June 2021.

Iranian news agencies circulated on Tuesday a video recording in which Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan, a commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), said he will run for the elections.

Khamenei has repeatedly stressed the importance of having a young president to run a revolutionary government.

Dehghan was the first to announce his candidacy to fill the post of the eighth Iranian president after the 1979 revolution, which toppled the Shah's regime.

The elected president will assume his duties after the incumbent’s second term ends in August 2021.

Few days before his announcement, Dehghan, who has been sanctioned by the US Treasury since November 2019, held an exclusive interview with the Associated Press in which he warned against any potential US attack on Tehran.

He said any negotiations with the West could not include Iran’s ballistic missiles, which he described as a “deterrent” to Tehran’s adversaries.

“The Iranian government will not negotiate its defensive power ... with anybody under any circumstances,” he stressed. “Missiles are a symbol of the massive potential that is in our experts, young people and industrial centers.”

Dehghan held several positions before being appointed as the Supreme Leader’s advisor for defense affairs in 2017.

He served as defense minister under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and during President Hassan Rouhani's first term (2013-17) and as deputy to the then defense minister, Ali Shamkhani, during the presidency of Mohammad Khatami from 1997 till 2003.

The senior official described himself as a “nationalist” with “no conventional political tendency.”

Among former senior IRGC commanders to run in previous presidential elections are Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, currently parliamentary speaker, and Mohsen Rezaei, secretary of the Expediency Council since 1997.

In the first response to Dehghan’s candidacy, former Minister of Culture and Information Ali Jannati tweeted that given the multiple problems facing the country, such as the sanctions, economic pressures and public discontent from living conditions, as well as the president’s limited powers to decide on foreign and domestic policies, “we must doubt the mental health of those who want to run for the presidential elections.”



Grossi Says Return to Diplomacy is Key to Solve Iranian Nuclear Crisis

IAEA Director General Grossi in Isfahan on May 7, 2024 (EPA)
IAEA Director General Grossi in Isfahan on May 7, 2024 (EPA)
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Grossi Says Return to Diplomacy is Key to Solve Iranian Nuclear Crisis

IAEA Director General Grossi in Isfahan on May 7, 2024 (EPA)
IAEA Director General Grossi in Isfahan on May 7, 2024 (EPA)

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, affirmed on Monday the need to return to diplomacy to resolve the crisis over Iran's nuclear program.
The Iran 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), currently holds no real significance because no one is following it, Grossi told the Russian newspaper Izvestia.
The agreement exists only on paper and means nothing, he said.
The IAEA chief said, “There have been attempts to revive it here in Vienna, but unfortunately, despite coming close to success, they fell through for reasons unknown to me.”
Grossi mentioned that the US and Iran are blaming each other for its failure, adding that the Agency wasn’t directly involved in the diplomatic process.
The UN agency’s chief said he always informs the Iranians of the necessity of ensuring minimum access to Iranian nuclear facilities to help return to the second version of the deal.
He then stressed the importance of avoiding a repeat of the North Korean scenario, where decades of negotiations ultimately proved futile.
Grossi also said Russia plays a very important role in this diplomacy, trying to keep the Iranian program within a predictable and peaceful framework.
When asked whether the UN agency was satisfied with the level of gaining access to Iranian nuclear facilities, he said there are problems.
“We do cooperate with Iran. I don't deny this. This is important for inspection. My Iranian colleagues often say that Iran is the most inspected country in the world. Well, it is, and for good reason. But this is not enough,” he warned.
Grossi added that since signing the agreement in 2015, Iran’s program “has expanded significantly” and that Iranians are capable of producing the latest generation of centrifuges, building new facilities and much more.
The IAEA chief then stressed the need for Iranians to acknowledge the fact that the international community does not completely trust them.
He affirmed that his agency does not pursue an anti-Iranian policy and reiterated the request for Tehran's cooperation.