The Rise of the Pasdaran Assessing the Domestic Roles of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

22 12 2009

URL: http://www.rand.org/pallrd/0109/pubs/monographs/MG821/. Source: RAND.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)—also known as the Pasdaran (Persian for “guards”)—was initially created by Ayatollah Khomeini during the 1978–1979 Islamic Revolution as an ideological guard for the nascent regime. Since then, it has evolved into an expansive socio-political-economic conglomerate whose influence extends into virtually every corner of Iranian political life and society. In this monograph, the authors assess the IRGC less as a traditional military entity and more as a domestic actor, emphasizing its multidimensional nature and the variety of roles it plays in Iran’s political culture, economy, and society.

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