The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), also known as the Pasdaran, is a unique military institution created to secure the ideals of Iran's revolution as well its territory. Since the end of the Iran-Iraq War, however, the IRGC's role in Iran's political economy has increased significantly beyond that mandate. Unfortunately, the leadership in the United States has demonstrated neither the aptitude nor the desire to understand Iran. Given the IRGC's command of Iran's nuclear development program and encroachment into its foreign policy, it is more important than ever to understand Iran's leadership structure. This study attempts to explain an important part of that structure by considering the influence of the leadership dynamics of Iran along with its economic and religious/social conditions on the IRGC's position within the state, using an historical analysis consisting of secondary sources. Accordingly, the IRGC's rise to power can be traced back to the dual sovereignty written into the constitution of the Islamic Republic. Though the divine sovereignty, embodied by the velayat-e faqih (Supreme Leader), is supposed to take precedence over popular sovereignty, embodied by the directly elected President, when the two conflict, Khomeini's successor, Khamenei, a junior cleric, was unable to manage then President Hashemi Rafsanjani. So he empowered the IRGC to compensate, but that choice set into motion a sequence of events that has enabled it to become powerful enough to be a threat to the velayat-e faqih himself.
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Sadri, Houman A.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
McDowall, Gregory D., "Clerics and commanders an examination of the evolution of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' role in the political economy of Iran" (2011). HIM 1990-2015. 1158.