The Revolutionary Guards
- The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is Iran’s most powerful security and military organization, responsible for the protection and survival of the regime.
- The Guards are also currently Iran’s most powerful economic actor, reinforcing their influence over political decisions.
- Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards have formed a symbiotic relationship that buttresses the supreme leader’s authority and preserves the status quo.
- U.S. and international sanctions against Iran compelled the Guards to support nuclear negotiations. However, they will strongly resist major political and even economic reforms after a nuclear deal.
- The nuclear deal could pose a threat to the Guards if Rouhani pursues significant political and economic reforms. While the top Guards echelon mostly supports the nuclear agreement, they are against domestic reforms.
- The nuclear deal could empower Rouhani, but the Guards are likely to benefit from an easing of sanctions and a less economically isolated Iran. The deal, however, is not going to allow Rouhani to completely sideline the Guards from their dominant political, economic, and security roles in Iran.
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"The Iran Primer"--Book Overview
The world’s most comprehensive website on Iran, “The Primer” brings together 50 experts—Western and Iranian—in concise chapters on politics, economy, military, foreign policy, and the nuclear program. It chronicles events under six U.S. presidents. It also has leader bios, timelines, data on nuclear sites—and context for what lies ahead. Click here for a hardcopy. New articles are added at the top.