Virtually Islamic Blog

Gary R. Bunt

Iran IRGC Report

Kasra Aarabi, Analyst, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Beyond Borders: the Expansionist Ideology of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

"This latest report, which forms part of the Tony Blair Institute’s series Shia Islamism in Focus: From 1979 to Today, provides evidence as to why the IRGC and the network it controls should be viewed and treated through a counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism lens. It analyses IRGC textbooks used to ‘ideologically and politically’ train recruits in order to ensure their commitment to the Guard’s mission. While the Tony Blair Institute’s earlier research analysed the rhetoric of Iran’s leaders to understand Tehran’s worldview, the material analysed here demonstrates that the IRGC is the physical embodiment and mobilising force of this transnational ideology. From the evidence available, it is clear that this ideology is violent, extreme and based on a perversion of Islamic scripture in order to glorify and prioritise armed jihad. It is also clear that the Iranian state and its clerical establishment are heavily involved and invested in this “ideological-political” training, with the supreme leader’s office signing off on educational materials. Given that the material analysed was produced for internal IRGC consumption, it is perhaps the closest piece of evidence available in understanding the Guard’s psyche and, likely, its future objectives."    PDF available

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