Tensions between president Rouhani and Iran's Revolutionary Guard spill into open

Tensions between president Rouhani and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard spill into open

Two female protesters were reportedly shot and wounded in Tehran on Sunday night while students staged a large protest on Monday on the campus of Sharif University in Tehran, widely considered one of Iran’s top academic institutions. 

Netblocks, an internet freedom group, said the internet appeared to be partially cut off at Sharif University, in what appeared to be an attempt by authorities to stop news of the protests spreading.   

Tensions between the relatively moderate government and the more hardline Revolutionary Guard have been building for years as Mr Rouhani advocated diplomacy with the West, and Guard commanders called for continuing isolation. 

Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, threatened to resign last year after Soleimani took his place in a meeting with Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian ruler. 

But faced with widespread public anger over the fate of Flight PS752 – and with parliamentary elections looming in February – the two sides appear to be at particularly bitter odds. 

“For Rouhani, I think this really represents quite a unique chance to get back at the Guard, the first since President Trump withdrew from the Iran deal, which invalidated Rouhani’s strategy of negotiating with the West,” said Michael Horowitz, head of intelligence at Le Beck geopolitical consulting firm. 

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