Iran: A Brief Look Inside The Insider's
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Sepah e Pasdaren (Army of Guardians) was formed in May 1979 as a force loyal to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. It later became a full military force alongside the regular army during the Iran-Iraq War. Today the Pasdaran (Guardians) has not only it's own ground forces seperate from Iran's general military, the Artesh, but their own navy, air force, intelligence arm and special forces. And the IRGC controls the Basij. A volunteer force of 90,000 regular troops with 300,000 reservist.
Since its establishment, IRGC has been involved in many economic and military activities
among which some raised controversies. The organization has been accused of smuggling,
including importing illegal alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and satellite dishes, among other
things in great demand into Iran via jetties not supervised by the Government. Training
Hezbollah and Hamas fighters, and has been accused by the US government of being involved
in the Iraq War and more recently found giving clandestine support for the Taliban and
al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
The political component; The IRGC and the basis of it's power is bound in Iran's Constitution.
The Constitution, in Article 150, defines the IRGC as the "guardian of the Revolution and of its
achievements". As an elite group, members of Pasdaran have influence in Iran's political world.
President Ahmadinejad joined the IRGC in 1985, serving first in military operation in Iraqi
Kurdistan before leaving the front line to take charge of logistics. A majority of his first cabinet
consisted of IRGC veterans. Since the 2009 "questionable" election and with the IRGC's
quelling of the "velvet revolution" of the wide-spread protests of fraud, several sources have
commented on increased power of the Guard with in Iran.
Controversy; According to Geneive Abdo (Google that. Impressive history) IRGC members
were appointed "as ambassadors, mayors, cabinet ministers, and high-ranking officials at
state-run economic institutions" during the administration of president Ahmadinejad.
Appointments in 2009 by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have given "hard-liners" in the guard
"unprecedented power" and included "some of the most feared and brutal men in Iran".
The Economics; IRGC first expanded into commercial activity through informal social
networking of veterans and former officials. IRGC officials confiscated assets of many refugees
who had fled Iran after the fall of the Bani-sadr regime. It is now a vast conglomerate, controlling
Iran’s missile batteries and nuclear program but also a multibillion-dollar business empire
reaching almost all economic sectors. It is thought to control around a third of Iran's economy
through a series of subsidiaries and trusts. Aside from it's military acquisitions, the IRGC has
interests in farming, construction, engineering, telecom, oil and gas, banking and auto
Controversy; In December 2009 evidence uncovered during an investigation by the Guardian
newspaper and Guardian Films linked the IRGC to the kidnappings of 5 Britons from a
government ministry building in Baghdad in 2007. Three of the hostages, Jason Creswell,
Jason Swindlehurst and Alec Maclachlan, were killed. Alan Mcmenemy's body was never found
but Peter Moore was released on 30 December 2009. The investigation uncovered evidence that
Moore, 37, a computer expert from Lincoln was targeted because he was installing a system
for the Iraqi Government that would show how a vast amount of international aid was diverted to
Iran's militia groups in Iraq.
Terrorist support; The Qods Force, a branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
provides material support to the Taliban, Lebanese Hizballah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad,
and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC). The Qods
Force is the Iranian regime's primary instrument for providing lethal support to the Taliban. The
Qods Force provides weapons and financial support to the Taliban to support anti-U.S. and
anti-Coalition activity in Afghanistan. Since at least 2006, Iran has arranged frequent shipments
of small arms and associated ammunition, rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds, 107mm
rockets, plastic explosives to the Taliban.
The Qods Force has had a long history of supporting Hizballah's military, paramilitary, and terrorist activities, providing it with guidance, funding, weapons, intelligence, and logistical support. The Qods Force operates training camps for Hizballah in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley and has reportedly trained more than 3,000 Hizballah fighters at IRGC training facilities in Iran. The Qods Force provides roughly $100 to $200 million in funding a year to Hizballah and has assisted Hizballah in rearming since the 2006 Lebanon-Israel War. The Qods Force provides lethal support in the form of weapons, training, funding, and guidance to select groups of Iraqi Shi'a militants who target and kill Coalition and Iraqi forces and Iraqi civilians.
in the morning gather thyself to purpose,
in the evening discuss the manner,
that thou hast been this day,
in word, work, and thought.
October 14, 2010
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Vancouver, B.C., Canada