Meet the Iran regime’s Shia supremacists pushing for an end-of-days showdown with Israel

The Paydari Front have reportedly gained influence within the Islamic Republic’s regime


Iranians burn an Israeli flag during the annual Quds Day commemorations earlier this year (Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP)

A hardline, ultra-conservative faction within the Iranian regime is pushing the Islamic republic to confront Israel and crack down on internal dissent.

The Paydari Front, or the Front of Islamic Revolution Stability, is said to be growing in influence over senior IRGC commanders 

Its members consider any reluctance to strike back against Israel to be appeasement, The Economist reported earlier this week.

The group even burnt copies of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action deal that eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on the nation’s nuclear programme. 

Speaking to Al Jazeera in 2020, Saeid Golkar, an expert on the IRGC at the University of Tennessee described the party as “ideological hardliners”.

The Paydari Front also praised the October 7 attack against Israel, hailing a “triumphant” operation and congratulated the “Palestinian resistance groups’ command”.

The party and the chairman of its central council, Morteza Aghatehrani, are working to take control of government institutions and “islamise” Iranian society, Iran International has reported.

This would include stricter enforcement of rules compelling women to wear the hijab, and tighter control of universities and the media.

This campaign, referred to as the “purification project” within Iran, appears to be gaining ground within the elite.

After parliamentary elections in March were boycotted by many the Paydaris tightened their grip on power, The Economist reported.

Its zealots, the newspaper added, care little that Iran’s military hardware is inferior Israel’s: they long for a confrontation that will trigger the return of a messianic leader.

“When you shot arrows at the enemies, you did not shoot; rather God did,” the Paydaris reportedly say, quoting the Quran. 

Younger IRGC commanders who grew up attending the group’s training camps are increasingly likely to agree.

“The new generation is more ideological and abrasive, less experienced and less pragmatic,” Golkar told The Economist. “Those who don’t know war are more eager to fight.”

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