THE PASDARAN PARTY: IRAN'S REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS AS A NEW POLITICAL MACHINE ?
This is a lot like if the KGB had been allowed to openly run candidates for office
during the late Glasnost years when Gorbachev introduced multiple candidate elections ( actually they did, just not openly because the only popular KGB men at the time were dissidents like General Oleg Kalugin).
This is a very interesting development. A taciit admission that Khomeini's " rule of the jurisprudent " has efectively come to the end of it's political legitimacy. As the shrinking number of ultra-hardliners gathered around Khameini and Rafsanjani cede political authority to an elite but non-clerical organization of thugs,intellectuals, terrorists and spies the end result is an open question. Will we see an Iran drifting toward technocracy and market economic reform as China once mellowed from Maoist totalitarianism ? Or will the drift be toward a menacing Islamist Fascist state that melds religious zeal with an aggressive militarization of all aspects of Iranian society ?
Hard to say. In the 1980's the KGB was a repository of hard-line attitudes but it was also the organization most acutely aware of the USSR's economic shortcomings, the need for real reform and the unrealism of party ideologues on the Central Committee. The Pasdaran sponsored Hezbollah and prior to the rise of the Sunni-Wahabbist terrorism of al Qaida, Iran's Revolutionary Guards were the foremost terror organization on earth but they are now at the center of the regime. Are the Pasdaran chieftains aware of Iran's weaknesses or only it's ambitions to regional greatness and religious revolution ?