Foundation of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Foundation of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ...
parseed.ir 22/04/1979 History

Keywords:#Ahmadinejad, #Arabia, #Armed, #Army_of_the_Guardians_of_the_Islamic_Revolution, #Ayatollah, #Ayatollah_Ruhollah_Khomeini, #Bahrain, #Basij, #Bazargan, #Constitution, #Crusade, #Enghelab, #Government, #Guardian, #History, #Hormuz, #Hossein_Salami, #IRGC, #Iran, #Iranian, #Iranian_Army, #Iranian_Revolution, #Islamic, #Islamic_Republic, #Islamic_Revolution, #Islamic_Revolutionary_Guard_Corps, #Khomeini, #Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad, #Mehdi_Bazargan, #Mohammad_Ali_Jafari, #Nations, #News, #Parseed, #Parseed.ir, #Pasdaran, #Persian, #Persian_Gulf, #President, #Quds, #Quds_Force, #Revolution, #Revolutionary_Guards, #Ruhollah_Khomeini, #Safavi, #Saudi, #Saudi_Arabia, #Sepah, #Shah, #Shia, #Strait_of_Hormuz, #Tehran, #US, #United_Nations, #United_States, #Western

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) (Persian: سپاه پاسداران انقلاب اسلامی‎, romanized: Sepâh-e Pâsdârân-e Enghelâb-e Eslâmi, lit. 'Army of Guardians of the Islamic Revolution' or Sepâh for short) is a branch of the Iranian Armed Forces, founded after the Iranian Revolution on 22 April 1979 by order of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Whereas the Iranian Army defends Iranian borders and maintains internal order, according to the Iranian constitution, the Revolutionary Guard (pasdaran) is intended to protect the country's Islamic republic political system. The Revolutionary Guards base their role in protecting the Islamic system as well as preventing foreign interference and coups by the military or "deviant movements".
The Revolutionary Guards have roughly 125,000 military personnel including ground, aerospace and naval forces. Its naval forces are now the primary forces tasked with operational control of the Persian Gulf. It also controls the paramilitary Basij militia which has about 90,000 active personnel. Its media arm is Sepah News.
Since its origin as an ideologically driven militia, the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution has taken a greater role in nearly every aspect of Iranian society. Its expanded social, political, military and economic role under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's administration—especially during the 2009 presidential election and post-election suppression of protest—has led many Western analysts to argue that its political power has surpassed even that of the country's Shia clerical system.
The Chief Commander of the Guardians since 2019 is Hossein Salami who was preceded by Mohammad Ali Jafari and Yahya Rahim Safavi respectively from 2007 and 1997.
The IRGC is designated as a terrorist organization by the governments of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Terminology
Government organizations in Iran are commonly known by one-word names (that generally denote their function) rather than acronyms or shortened versions, and the general populace universally refers to the IRGC as Sepâh (سپاه). Sepâh has a historical connotation of soldiers, while in modern Persian it is also used to describe a corps-sized unit – in modern Persian Artesh (ارتش) is the more standard term for an army.
Pâsdârân (پاسداران) is the plural form of Pâsdâr (پاسدار), meaning "Guardian", and members of Sepah are known as Pāsdār, which is also their title and comes after their rank.
Apart from the name Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Iranian Government, media, and those who identify with the organization generally use Sepāh-e Pâsdârân (Army of the Guardians), although it is not uncommon to hear Pâsdârân-e Enghelâb (پاسداران انقلاب) (Guardians of the Revolution), or simply Pâsdârân (پاسداران) (Guardians) as well. Among the Iranian population, and especially among diaspora Iranians, using the word Pasdaran indicates hatred or admiration for the organization.
Most foreign governments and the English-speaking mass media tend to use the term Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRG) or simply the Revolutionary Guards. In the US media, the force is frequently referred to interchangeably as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps or the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The US government standard is Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, while the United Nations uses Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Organization
The force's main role is in national security. It is responsible for internal and border security, law enforcement, and also Iran's missile forces. IRGC operations are geared towards asymmetric warfare and less traditional duties. These include the control of smuggling, control of the Strait of Hormuz, and resistance operations. The IRGC is intended to complement the more traditional role of the regular Iranian military, with the two forces operating separately and focusing on different operational roles.
The IRGC is a combined arms force with its own ground forces, navy, air force, intelligence, and special forces. It also controls the Basij militia. The Basij is a volunteer-based force, with 90,000 regular soldiers and 300,000 reservists. The IRGC is officially recognized as a component of the Iranian military under Article 150 of the Iranian Constitution. It is separate from, and parallel to, the other arm of Iran's military, which is called Artesh (another Persian word for army). Especially in the waters of the Persian Gulf, the IRGC is expected to assume control of any Iranian response to attacks on its nuclear facilities.
History and structure
The IRGC was formed on 5 May 1979 following the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in an effort to consolidate several paramilitary forces into a single force loyal to the new government and to function as a counter to the influence and power of the regular military, initially seen as a potential source of opposition because of its traditional loyalty to the Shah. From the beginning of the new Islamic government, the Pasdaran (Pasdaran-e Enghelab-e Islami) functioned as a corps of the faithful. The Constitution of the Islamic Republic entrusted the defense of Iran's territorial integrity and political independence to the regular military (artesh), while it gave the Pasdaran the responsibility of preserving the Revolution itself.
Days after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's return to Tehran on 1 February 1979, Mehdi Bazargan's interim administration established the Pasdaran under a decree issued by Khomeini on 5 May. The Pasdaran was intended to protect the Revolution and to assist the ruling clerics in the day-to-day enforcement of the new government's Islamic codes and morality. There were other, perhaps more important, reasons for establishing the Pasdaran. The Revolution needed to rely on a force of its own rather than borrowing the previous regime's tainted units. As one of the first revolutionary institutions, the Pasdaran helped legitimize the Revolution and gave the new government an armed basis of support. Moreover, the establishment of the Pasdaran served notice to both the population and the regular armed forces that the Khomeini government was quickly developing its own enforcement body. Thus, the Pasdaran, along with its political counterpart, Crusade for Reconstruction, brought a new order to Iran. In time, the Pasdaran would rival the police and the judiciary in terms of its functions. It would even challenge the performance of the regular armed forces on the battlefield.
Although the IRGC operated independently of the regular armed forces, it was often considered to be a military force in its own right due to its important role in Iranian defense. The IRGC consists of ground, naval, and aviation troops, which parallel the structure of the regular military. Unique to the Pasdaran, however, has been control of Iran's strategic missile and rocket forces.
Also contained under the umbrella of the more conventional Pasdaran, were the Basij Forces (Mobilization Resistance Force), a network of potentially up to a million active individuals who could be called upon in times of need. The Basij could be committed to assist in the defense of the country against internal or external threats, but by 2008 had also been deployed in mobilizing voters in elections and alleged tampering during such activities. Another element was the Quds Force, a special forces element tasked with unconventional warfare roles and known to be involved providing assistance and training to various militant organizations around the world.
Yahya Rahim Safavi, head of the IRGC since 1997, was dismissed as commander in chief of the Revolutionary Guards in August 2007. The dismissal of Safavi disrupted the balance of power in Iran to the advantage of conservatives. Analysis in the international press considered the removal of Safavi to be a sign of change in the defense strategies of Iran, but the general policies of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps are not personally determined by its commander.
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