Fear and Loathing in the Revolutionary Guards

Mohammad Naghdi, the head of the Basij auxiliary militia, has suggested that dissenting guards’ wives and children (over 12) should also be arrested. But others in the intelligence ranks feel that the insubordinates should be severely disciplined precisely to keep it all under wraps, depriving the opposition of yet another tool to use against the Iranian regime. Jafari, for his part, has firmly maintained that direct disobedience of orders is treason -- and an inexcusable offense against the holy principles of the military forces who are there to defend the Iranian regime.

With the blessings of the supreme leader, Jafari has begun to set up a task force to investigate and counteract the further spread of dissent in the ranks. The task force will be comprised of handpicked members of the Quds Force and its mission is twofold: first, to send undercover members of the IRGC or Basij to infiltrate dissenting groups, and, second, to publicize and discredit the subversives in order to discourage further defections.

It is said that in a private meeting with Khamenei, Jafari expressed his fear of a domino effect within the region given the influence of recent events throughout the Middle East and North Africa upon his ranks. Jafari stressed that news of the Libyan pilots who fled Libya in a fighter jet for Malta and the defections of other Libyan military personnel could reverberate throughout the Iranian military and trigger similar actions.