The Guardian of the Revolution

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The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was formed shortly after the 1979 revolution that ousted the U.S.-backed Shah Reza Pahlavi. According to the Iranian Constitution, the IRGC is the ‘guardian of the Revolution’ from internal and external threats and reports directly to the Supreme Leader. The IRGC quickly established its relevance in countering successive waves of threats to the Islamic Republic posed by a spectrum of domestic opposition groups, such as the Marxist-Islamist Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MEK) and Kurdish separatists. The IRGC would also play a pivotal role in repelling Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran in 1980 and the ensuing bloody eight-year war that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. The IRGC’s sacrifices to the cause in the incipient years of the Islamic Republic laid the groundwork for their expansive role in the socio-economic, political and military domain of the country.

Structure & Domestic Security

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