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IRGC networks exposed in new report

CM 02/08/2021 2


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 A new report by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change unpacks the relationship between Iran’s new hardline Islamist president Ebrahim Raisi and the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The report published Monday, entitled “The IRGC in the Age of Ebrahim Raisi: Decision-Making and Factionalism in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard,” examines the increasing role and power of the IRGC in the country, as well as highlighting how it will expand even more under the upcoming presidency of Raisi. The research, conducted by Saeid Golkar and Kasra Aarabi, for the first time highlights the key centers of power and individuals in the IRGC, many of whom will become the new ministers and political appointees in Raisi’s administration.
Raisi will become the president of Iran on Thursday after being elected in June. Raisi, a hardline cleric, is a former student of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic. The report notes that as Khamenei gets older, he is attempting to “ensure the survival of his hardline Islamic regime after his death,” including through the election of Raisi and empowerment of the IRGC.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Kasra Aarabi, one of the report’s authors, explained the significance of the report: “There have been various models we have tried to use in the West to understand the IRGC and its inner workings, but all have fallen short in making sense of the intra-elite competition and cooperation that exists within the Guard.”

The report also notes that the IRGC plays an outsized role in the country, and now controls huge swaths of life in the country, rising to the top of most key institutions, from politics to the economy, military and intelligence.
The role of the IRGC will only expand under Raisi’s presidency. “It is highly likely that IRGC members, who are drawn from the section of Iranian society that provides the bedrock of Khamenei’s support, will come to occupy key ministerial roles that are up for grabs in the next administration and many of the 874 senior government-appointed positions across Iran’s ministries and state bureaucracy,” the report describes. “As a result, the IRGC will occupy the Iranian deep state while further entrenching itself in the visible state, increasing its access to resources and power.”
However, it also notes internal divisions that exist within the IRGC. The report creates a model to understand these divisions, with three major competing centers of power in the IRGC: economic, political, and security-intelligence.
In an interview with The Post, Aarabi explained the importance of understanding the innerworkings of the IRGC: “While the IRGC is a hardline Islamist organisation absolutely committed to Khamenei’s regime, it is not a monolith. Our research uncovers three major centres of power in the Guard and identifies the key IRGC ranks within them. Intra-elite competition and collaboration are often drivers of stability and instability in political regimes. So being able to study and understand these intra-elite rivalries within the IRGC will aid the efforts to forecast the future of the Islamic Republic.”
The report comes as the Biden administration looks to reopen nuclear talks with the country, proving integral to an understanding of the security personnel and ideology that will make up the new administration in Iran. It will also allow policymakers from around the world understand who the key players are in the IRGC in order to know who to work with or who to sanction within the country.
“It’s important to understand the driving force behind Raisi: the Revolutionary Guards,” Aarabi explained. “To understand the kind of administration that the US will have to deal with, we need to understand the inner workings of the IRGC, and our research helps us do that. And once we’ve understood and familiarized ourselves with what the administration is going to look like, then that leads the question as to whether it’s in the US interest to grant this regime up to 90 billion dollars in sanctions relief as part of a re-entry into the 2015 nuclear agreement. A miscalculation could lead to a situation where actually, it increases the threats to US national security and the region rather than decreases the threats.”
The full report can be found here.

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The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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