Sunday 27 May 2012

Iran - power struggle for the underground economy

Smugglers Are Killing Iran's Elite Revolutionary Guard In A Bitter Power Struggle For The Underground Economy

25 May, 2012

At least 10 members of Iran’s elite Guardians of the Islamic Revolution group have died under mysterious circumstances in the last few months, possibly due to an internal power struggle over the country’s underground economy, according to a report by French journal Intelligence Online.

Among those dead are top-level generals and other high-ranking officials. While one died of a heart attack, others were killed in car accidents, the report says. But what makes the deaths suspicious is the fact that only two of the ten were offered condolences by Ayatollah Khamenei and publicized in the Iranian press. Information on the other deaths comes from democracy and rights groups operating outside Iran.

The Guardians perform the role of border patrol, modesty police, and internal security organization, making them one of the most powerful organizations in Iran, according to Arutz Sheva.

They allegedly have numerous profitable businesses, but the recent sanctions on Iran have seen them lose business to black marketeers, who can supply citizens with goods that are becoming harder to import, leading to friction between the Guardians and the black market that could have resulted in the deaths.

Sunni-Shiite tension could also be a factor, as at least two of the dead served in areas with large Sunni populations.

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