In an article published on the 11th of August on the website of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Shimon Shapira wrote that Rouhani’s new Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan was behind the suicide attack against the US Marine barracks on October 25, 1983. The attack killed 241 marines. The bombing has been traced to Hezbollah.
Shimon Shapira’s article did not show evidence that Dehghan was in Lebanon at that time.
However today, FARS news, which is believed to be close to the IRGC, published his resume.
Under the section “Managerial Experience – سوابق مدیریتی و اجرائی” it states:
– فرمانده سپاه سوریه و لبنان 63-1361 (بعد از تهاجم نیروهای رژیم اشغالگری صهیونیستی به لبنان)
Translation: commander of IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp) in Lebanon and Syria 1982-1984 (after the invasion of Lebanon by the Zionist occupation forces).
So we know from his resume that he was the commander of the IRGC in Lebanon and Syria in 1983 when the bombing happened.
The next question: is it possible that the commander of the IRGC in Lebanon and Syria did not know about an attack by its closest ally Hezbollah against the US Marine barracks? Yes it is.
How possible? in my opinion, not very. Less than 5%.
You could say that appointing such a man as Defense Minister is not very sensible by Rouhani, especially since he is talking about moderation and improvement in relations with the West.
You’d be right, except that in Iran, in reality its not the president who chooses the Defense Minister, its the supreme leader.
Which explains why no one opposed Dehghan’s appointment in the parliament. Other nominations had some opposition, but not him. A clear sign that he is a Khamenei man.
So the question is: why would Ayatollah Khamenei appoint such a person?
In my opinion: to make rapprochement with the West as difficult as possible for Rouhani, as he did for Rafsanjani, Khatami and even Ahmadinejad who at the end of his term wanted better relations with the US.