Iran’s Islamic Republic and the Muslim Brotherhood

It might seem that the historic sectarian divide would keep the Shi’i ruling clergy of Iran and the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood apart, but in fact the two forces have much in common. It is not only a tactical alliance. There two are connected by ideology and other historical ties in personnel, policy, and more. The ties between the revolutionary clergy in Iran and the Brotherhood extend back to before the founding of the Islamic Republic in Iran in 1979. Mojtaba Mirlohi, better known as Navvab Safavi (1924–56), founded the Fada’iyan-e-Islam, the first Islamist terrorist group in modern Iran, in 1946. Khomeini’s operatives in the West like Ebrahim Yazdi had been working with Brotherhood officials for years, as had the important Iranian Islamist intellectual, Ali Shariati, based in Britain, who was key in creating the so-called “red mullah” trend within the revolution — the fusion of Marxist concepts with religious doctrine. At the present time, the Iranian regime’s closest Brotherhood connection is undoubtedly Hamas, which also receives support — facilitated by Israel — from Qatar, the primary regional state-sponsor of the Muslim Brotherhood.

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