IRGC’s Domestic Influence

Domestic Influence

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), known as “Sepah” in Iran, is an influential and powerful military force. Formed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the IRGC’s primary objective is to protect the revolutionary principles and safeguard the regime and promote hegemonic expansion of the Islamic revolution principles through the Middle East. The IRGC operates independently from the regular Iranian military, known as the “Artesh”, and has its own ground, naval, and aerospace forces.

Over the years, the IRGC has expanded its reach, gaining substantial political, security, and economic control within Iran. With its involvement in politics, defence, and control over key sectors of the economy, the IRGC has emerged as a central pillar of the Iranian regime, shaping the country’s trajectory and wielding considerable power in domestic and regional affairs.

Political Influence

The IRGC’s political influence stems from its pivotal role in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. As a core defender of the Islamic Republic’s revolutionary ideals, the IRGC has maintained a prominent position within the regime. Its members are known for their loyalty to the Supreme Leader and their commitment to preserving the revolutionary principles, making them influential in shaping policies that align with the regime’s ideology. During the past years, members of the IRGC have penetrated key roles within the political system, including the juridical system, intelligence services, and even occupying the highest governance positions.

Security and Defence

The IRGC plays a vital role in Iran’s security and defence apparatus, deeply intertwined with the safeguarding of the Islamic Revolution, both domestically and regionally. In addition to countering potential threats to the regime, such as dissent, subversion, or foreign interference, the IRGC actively works towards expanding the principles of the Islamic revolution throughout the region. This involves engaging in political and military activities in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and others. With its significant influence in security matters, the IRGC not only ensures the stability of the regime but also actively promotes the ideals of the Islamic revolution.

Economic Control

The IRGC’s economic control is closely tied to its involvement in sectors critical to Iran’s economy. Over the years, the IRGC has expanded its presence in various industries, often through its construction arm, Khatam al-Anbia Construction Headquarters. This strategic approach has allowed the IRGC to secure lucrative contracts for major infrastructure projects, providing it with significant financial resources and enabling it to exert control over key sectors of the economy. Additionally, the IRGC has extended its control over various sectors, including energy, particularly oil and gas, telecommunications, mining, transportation, and other critical infrastructures. This comprehensive expansion has further solidified the IRGC’s influence across these crucial areas, consolidating its economic power.

Sanctions Evasion

The IRGC’s ability to evade sanctions and navigate the international financial system has been crucial for Iran’s resilience in the face of economic restrictions. Its extensive network of businesses, front companies, and shell companies has enabled it to bypass sanctions and access resources necessary for economic survival. By circumventing sanctions, the IRGC has been able to sustain its economic interests and contribute to the regime’s resilience.

Suppression of Dissent

The IRGC’s role in suppressing dissent is integral to the regime’s efforts to maintain control and deter opposition. The Basij militia, which operates under the IRGC’s authority, plays a significant role in enforcing societal norms, suppressing protests, and quelling any perceived threats to the regime’s authority. The IRGC’s control over security forces and intelligence apparatus allows it to monitor and suppress dissident voices, preserving the regime’s power and ideological dominance.

These various factors collectively contribute to the IRGC’s central position within the Iranian regime. The IRGC’s political influence, security role, economic control, and ability to evade sanctions serve as pillars that consolidate the regime’s authority and enable the IRGC to maintain a prominent position. Furthermore, the IRGC’s active suppression of dissent and its support for Islamist terrorists further reinforce the oppressive nature of the regime, stifling the aspirations of segments of the population who yearn for greater freedom, democracy, and respect for their basic rights. Instead of working towards positive change, the IRGC’s activities contribute to the continuation of an oppressive regime that brutally suppresses the aspirations of its people.