Revolutionary Guards

Revolutionary Guards,

officially the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) or Pasdaran, Iranian military group formed in the aftermath of the 1979 revolution by young Islamic activists loyal to Ayatollah Ruhollah KhomeiniKhomeini, Ayatollah Ruhollah
, 1900–1989, Iranian Shiite religious leader. Educated in Islam at home and in theological schools, in the 1950s he was designated ayatollah, a supreme religious leader, in the Iranian Shiite community.
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. Originally intended as a people's army that would defend the country's Islamic rule and its revolutionary values, it also acted as a counterweight to Iran's regular military forces. The Guards grew into a major military force during the Iran-Iraq WarIran-Iraq War,
1980–88, protracted military conflict between Iran and Iraq. It officially began on Sept. 22, 1980, with an Iraqi land and air invasion of western Iran, although Iraqi spokespersons maintained that Iran had been engaging in artillery attacks on Iraqi towns
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 in the 1980s. Now generally considered Iran's dominant military organization, it is responsible for the country's internal security, oversees Iran's strategic weapons, commands the volunteer Basij religious militia, and is in charge of the charitable foundations (bonyads) that are integral to the nation's economy; the group is also reported to be significantly involved in and enriched by black-market smuggling. The elite branch of the Guards, the Quds [Jerusalem] force, is responsible for its foreign activities. By the early 21st cent. the Revolutionary Guards included ground, naval, air, intelligence, and special forces components. The organization has considerable political influence; many members of parliament, cabinet ministers, and other politicians (including President Mahmoud AhmadinejadAhmadinejad, Mahmoud
, 1956–, Iranian politician. From a humble background, he supported the Islamic revolution (1979) while working toward his civil engineering doctorate and was a founder of the student union that occupied the U.S. embassy.
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) have been members. In Oct., 2007, the United States imposed sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards, which it accused of supporting terror attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq, and against its Qods force, which it accused of supporting the HezbollahHezbollah
[Arab., = Party of God], Lebanese Shiite political party and militia. Founded in 1982 with Iranian help to oppose Israeli forces occupying S Lebanon, Hezbollah launched guerrilla attacks and suicide bombings against Israeli forces (which were a factor in Israel's
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 in Lebanon and the TalibanTaliban
or Taleban
, Islamic fundamentalist militia of Afghanistan and later Pakistan, originally consisting mainly of Sunni Pashtun religious students from Afghanistan who were educated and trained in Pakistan.
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 in Afghanistan. Under President Ahmadinejad, the Guards' political and economic influence grew, and the support of it and the Basij militia was critical to the suppression of protests after Ahmadinejad disputed reelection (2009). The Guards have also provided support and forces in support of the Syrian and Iraqi governments in their conflicts with Sunni rebels in the 2010s.
References in periodicals archive ?
But critics said it would boost concern about the increasing influence of the Revolutionary Guards, an elite military force which has expanded its economic activities in recent years.
Summary: Iran has taken "full control" of three camps of an Iranian Kurdish rebel movement inside neighboring Iraq, a commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards told the official IRNA news agency Monday.
Summary: Iran's Revolutionary Guards have shot down two "Western spy" drones in the Gulf.
This is no comfort: Not only do the Revolutionary Guards contain Iran's most radical ideologues, but they also remain effectively a big, black box to Western analysts.
On Sunday, a representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards are ready to provide a military escort to cargo ships trying to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Manama Iran's ambassador to Bahrain yesterday denied media reports that Iran's Revolutionary Guards were involved in the money-laundering case unearthed by Manama on Friday.
Israel has asked Italy for help in getting the EU to list the elite Revolutionary Guards of arch-foe Iran as a "terrorist group", a senior minister said on Feb 2.
Iran has granted its elite Revolutionary Guards full responsibility for naval operations in the Gulf in the event of a conflict, a new US intelligence report has said.
Summary: Iran has restructured its naval forces to give an arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards full responsibility for operations in the strategic Gulf in the event of a conflict, according to a new U.
The training, combined with the presence of 150 to 200 Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Bosnia in violation of the Balkan peace accord, is likely to anger and alarm Western backers of Bosnia.
Iran promised on Monday to give a "crushing" response if the United States designated its elite Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group.
By: Egypt Today staff CAIRO, 7 June, 2017: Sources inside the Qatari capital, Doha, revealed that elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards were seen inside the Qatari palace to protect the Prince, under the pretext of their presence to train some of the troops.

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