Accession Number:

ADA539865

Title:

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC): An Iranian Instrument of Power

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL CENTER FOR STRATEGY AND TECHNOLOGY

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-02-12

Pagination or Media Count:

33.0

Abstract:

The comments of the respective presidents highlight the contentious and tension filled relationship between the United States and Iran. Irans association with the U.S. since the end of WWII has occupied two distinct poles. At first, a staunch ally under the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi Shah of Iran for over three decades, Iran has since been Washingtons relentless antagonist since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which brought Ayatollah Khomeini and his Islamic state and ideological followers to power. This paper will explore Irans main instrument of power to confront those who seek to influence its policies and change its clerical regime--the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps IRGC. The IRGCs conventional and asymmetrical military power, direct support from the Supreme Leader, constitutional authority, control and development of the Irans chemical, biological and nuclear production programs, growing economic and political influence has enable the organization to emerged as the principle center of gravity in maintaining the existence of the Islamic Republic of Iran and protecting it from both internal and external threats. Ayatollah Khomeini formed the IRGC in May 1979 by combining several revolutionary organizations that supported his ideology. Khomeini realized he needed such an organization after several attacks were carried out against some of his key leaders during the early months ofthe revolution and his distrust of Irans regular military forces. The IRGC quickly grew to over 100,000 within a year and now stands at approximately 125,000. In addition, the IRGC has become a relatively complex and cohesive organization, which has not lost its ideological enthusiasm.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE