A picture taken on Sep. 21, 2008 shows Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards marching during a military parade in Tehran. Photograph by: Behrouz Mehri, AFP/Getty Images
Senior officers in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have written to their commanding officer demanding assurances that they will not be required to open fire on anti-government demonstrators.
After the violent clashes during anti-government protests in nearby countries, the officers argue that it is against the principles of Islamic law to use violence against their own people.
In a suggestion of a split within the Islamic Republic’s ruling hierarchy over its handling of protests, the letter has been circulated widely throughout the ranks of the Revolutionary Guards, the body responsible for defending the religious system. The letter, a copy of which has been seen by The Daily Telegraph, is addressed to Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the guards’ commanding officer. It calls on him to issue guidance to both the guards and the Basij paramilitary militia to use restraint when handling protests.