A former senior commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, IRGC, has called Russian President Vladimir Putin "a dictator" and his attack on Ukraine a “disgrace.”
Also, a well-known academic in Tehran says Putin is "unpredictable" and "has done more harm to himself than to those he considers his enemies." He has called on Iranian officials to distance themselves from Putin.
This comes while Iran's top officials’ including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi have expressed support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine blaming the United States for the crisis.
Hossein Alaei, the former chairman of the IRGC joint staff (1997-2000) and commander of Iranian navy (1985-1990), has written in an article that although the war in Ukraine has so far served the interests of the US and China, it has caused a disgrace for Russia's “dictator Putin”. The article was published in Jamaran website, close to Iran's reformists and managed by Hassan Khomeini, a grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic.
Alaei said that the war will last long with long-term implications for the people of Russia and Ukraine. He opined as a result of the war the people of Russia will look forward to an end to Putin's presidency.
Former senior IRGC commander Hossein Alaei
General Alaei stressed that ten days after the start of the war, Putin is now entangled in the quagmire of the occupation of Ukraine and cannot save himself from the trouble he has created. He added that thanks to the resistance by Ukrainians and the alliance of Europe and the United States against Russia, Putin finds himself in a tough situation. "Although it is too early to talk about the outcome of this war, one can imagine that it is a war of attrition to last for a long time," he added.
Assessing possible outcomes of Putin's action, Alaei said that despite the destruction of infrastructures and the displacement of nearly a million Ukrainians, reinforcement of Europe's military capabilities and solidarity between the EU and the US, as well as the expansion of NATO will be the consequences of this war. Meanwhile, Alaei warned that the Islamic Republic should understand and condemn Russia's aggression more than any other country as it has already experienced the Soviet Union's support for Saddam Hussain in his war against Iran.
In an Interview with the reformist daily Arman on Sunday, Iranian academic Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh called on Iranian officials to distance themselves from Putin. Mojtahedzadeh, a political scientist, quoted other academics as saying that Putin might even resort to using Russia's nuclear power if the conflict in Ukraine further intensifies.
However, he said Putin does not hold all the power in Russia and there are others around him who are watching his moves. They know that using nuclear weapons will do more harm to Russia than to other countries. However, he said that Putin has gone beyond the realm of logic and wisdom. He added that his behavior reminds everyone of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussain when he launched his invasion of Kuwait.
Mojtahedzadeh charged that Putin has lost his self-control under immense international pressure following the invasion of Ukraine. "I believe the sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and EU will destroy Russia," Mojtahedzadeh said, adding that, "Perhaps someone wishes to mess with the global balance of power. But this is no joke. No country can eliminate this balance."
Assessing Iran’s reaction to the war in Ukraine, Mojtahedzadeh said: "I have already warned that Iran should not look for unilateral relations with Russia and should prove this to the world by sticking to UN resolutions."