Iran Running out of Troops to Secure Both Syria and Iran

And by troops I mean the Revolutionary Guard forces who are the only troops that the regime of the Mullahs trusts anymore. Reportedly Iran is pulling Qods Force personnel out of Syria, while Iran still undoubtedly has plenty of advisers and some Hezbollah and assorted Shiite militia volunteers in Syria, it’s clearly worried about retaining control at home in the face of mounting riots.

The Mullahs are far more worried about economic protests than they are about political protests. Political protests by university students are easier to suppress than the kind of populist economic protests that flowed across the region in the Arab Spring. And it would be very easy for the Iranian opposition to take over and direct such protests, the way that liberals and the Muslim Brotherhood did in Egypt.

The top priority for the regime is protecting itself, and that is the core purpose of the Revolutionary Guard. The Islamic Revolution has become identified with the clerical guardians of the revolution, much as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has equated the Jan 25 Revolution to its own leadership, the Iranian regime has locked the two together. Defending the Islamic Revolution means defending its leaders.

Syria is strategically important, but not nearly as important as protecting the Islamic Revolution at home. The withdrawal of the Qods force is another reminder of how precariously the Iranian power pyramid is balanced on elite militias and forces.

  • Rebas Thgil

    The qods photo reminded me of J.R.R. Tolkien's works that describe the assembling together of the ghouls, goblins and other various creeps for a massive battle.

  • Matt

    That was the idea, coming from the 2006 war when axis was forced to fight on two fronts and Hizbullah had to send fighters from Iraq back to Lebanon, it showed up their strategic depth as being vulnerable. Under the Arab Spring and civil unrest Iran would have to choose, be thin in two AO's an possibly lose both or sacrifice one and secure Iran. Also the fiscal costs. The same goes for Hizbullah, but the Arab Spring never hit Iran or Lebanon for that matter. I have to be honest I know the Iranian regime is a resistant being and I know they had successfully crushed the 2009/10 uprising allowing a buffer against unrest, but I believed that the Arab Spring would bring down the regime. If it took down Assad and Hizbullah in the process that would be good to. But the nuclear issue is the only real objective.

  • Andrew Whitehead

    Why the west cannot foment discord in the Iranian leadership is beyond me. I see great weakness and a poor grip on the population. If our president were thinking of his own country (for once), we would have supported the Iranian revolution a year or so ago.

    Why did the United States government aid the Iranian government against its own citizens? I just do not understand, but then again I am not a liberal.