Generals from the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.) have been busy in the last few days issuing threats against the United States and her regional allies such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. One such commander has been Esmail Kowsari. He has threatened that all options are open to Iran in the event of hostilities between Iranian and U.S. forces.
Kowsari was for 16 years a top member of the I.R.G.C. but opted to become a civilian and entered the parliament in 2008 during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. That year many I.R.G.C. officers entered the Iranian parliament. While in parliament Kowsari was unsurprisingly a strong supporter of the I.R.G.C., its business interests and actions.
Kowsari lost his seat in the parliament in 2016 and promptly returned to the I.R.G.C. According to Iranian media reports, he has joined the leadership of the Khatam ol-Anbia, the business conglomerate that is controlled by the IRGC. It seems when life in the political arena does not work out then former I.R.G.C. commanders can always return to top posts in the corps. Kowsari’s file vividly shows how Iranian politics is today deeply infiltrated by the I.R.G.C and its very narrow sets of interests at home and in the region.