“I advise the military not to get involved in politics.”
With these words, former Iranian leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, who died in June 1989, called on the leaders of the Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian army not to engage in political action.
Despite this, the current guide, Ali Khamenei, made an amendment to the Iranian constitution, according to which the military is allowed to run in the presidential elections, scheduled for June 18, 2021.
Khamenei supports the idea of promoting fundamentalist or former military candidates to the presidential elections to tighten control over decision-making at home.
One of the first military officials to announce a bid to run in the presidential race was Hossein Dehghan, a close associate of the Supreme Leader and a military advisor to Khamenei.
He held many political positions, being a seasoned military leader since the war with Iraq, when he was commander of the Air Force.
Dehghan, 64 years old, has reformist orientations. He assumed the presidency of the Victims and Warriors Foundation under Presidents Muhammad Khatami and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as Secretary and Chairman of the Political, Defense and Security Committee of the Expediency Council, in addition to assuming the position of Deputy Minister of Defense during the period of late president Ali Akbar Rafsanjani.
He was the minister of defense in the first term of the government of incumbent President Hassan Rouhani (2013-2017).
After this, the Supreme Leader issued a decision in August 2017 to appoint Dehghan as his advisor for defense industries.