Iranian dissident warns of US actions against Iran

by Laurent Lozano

The United States risks elevating tensions and is not likely to achieve much by declaring Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a “terrorist” group, a prominent Iranian dissident who co-founded the Guards said.

Mohsen Sazegara, who was a high-ranking Tehran official before turning against the government, told AFP in an interview that the US move, reported to be in the works last week, could spark a backlash, stirring up more turmoil in places where Washington accuses them of terror activities, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon.

Now a research fellow on Iran at Harvard University, Sazegara also said that he doubted blacklisting the Revolutionary Guards would force any change in the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“The relationship between Iran and the United States will go one more step ahead toward military confrontation and the situation will become more dangerous, because the Revolutionary Guards is now one of the most powerful organizations in the politics of Iran,” he said.

Sazegara, 52, is in a unique position to know about the secretive group he describes as the most powerful institution in Iran.

He held high positions in the Tehran regime after the 1979 revolution, including a key role in setting up the Revolutionary Guards that year. He describes it as now a huge political force of its own.

“The Revolutionary Guard … is at the same time a political party, it is like an army, a security organization, a secret service, a huge complex of companies.”

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