With so much happening, we’ve decided to assist the otherwise preoccupied media by taking a closer look at some key figures in Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s new cabinet.
Hossein Dehghan, Defense Minister:
Deghan’s an IRGC veteran, and has reportedly been in all the right strategic locations since the Islamic revolution in Iran. He played a crucial role suppressing opposition as commander of the Tehran corps of the Revolutionary Guards until 1982, and was then appointed commander of IRGC in Syria. He also spent significant time in Lebanon, where he reportedly nurtured Hezbollah (in the past the organization released Deghan’s picture with Hezbollah founder Abbas al-Musawi who was killed in 1992).
Moustafa Pour-Mohammadi, Minister of Justice:
Human Rights Watch dubbed Pour-Mohammadi a “minister of murder” in 2005 for his role in the execution of 4,200 political prisoners between 1985-1989. Rouhani has been criticized for remaining silent on the role his new justice minister played in those massacres.
Abolreza Rahmani Fazli, Interior Minister:
Fazli has cut most of his political teeth in Iran’s broadcasting world, including in the past as political deputy of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), which controls all of the country’s radio and TV. In addition to his domestic responsibilities, particularly internal security, Fazli will also handle Iran’s drug enforcement activities. Tehran has been accused by human rights organizations for exploiting foreign assistance in this field for abusive prosecutions, including executions.
Rostam Qasemi, Adviser to the Defense Minister: Qasemi was previously Iran’s oil minister and a former IRGC commander. He’s been sanctioned for his involvement in Iran’s nuclear program. He was also head of the Khatam-ol Anbya Construction Headquarters – also affiliated with the IRGC – from 2007 to 2011.
In the future we’ll try to zoom in on other cabinet figures as developments permit.