In the follow up of president Trump’s speech on the new Iranian strategy, in which he targeted the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC), many media outlets and think-tanks have focused on the IRGC, examining once again their global activity. It would seem that at least in this aspect, there is hardly any difference of opinion.
President Trump in his speech, transcript to be seen at whitehouse.gov/the-press-office, announced the intention to impose tough sanctions on Iran’s IRGC, explained as follows: “The Revolutionary Guard is the Iranian Supreme Leader’s corrupt personal terror force and militia. It has hijacked large portions of Iran’s economy and seized massive religious endowments to fund war and terror abroad. This includes arming the Syrian dictator, supplying proxies and partners with missiles and weapons to attack civilians in the region, and even plotting to bomb a popular restaurant in Washington DC”.
Since his speech, different profiling of the IRGC have supported these claims.
The sfgate tries to draw a profile of the IRGC, emphasizing that the IRGC are behind “wars abroad”, the “tense naval encounters” with US vessels, the ballistic missile program and the targeting of dual nationals.
theguardian describes the history of the IRGC, and then quote descriptions of the IRGC, referring to them as “a river that is overflowing, covering everything”. It is also referred to as a “government within a government, a country within a country”. The title of the article reads “it’s become a monster“. The facts of its support of subversive activity around the globe, its financial strangle-hold of Iranian economy and its vast “influence on foreign, domestic and security policies” is undisputed.
The nytimes, re-affirms IRGC involvement in global military interventions, overseeing of the aggressive missile program and its internal economic and political dominance. Yet, The nytimes does though try to make the case that economic sanctions will strengthen the IRGC and that president Rouhani is trying to cut IRGC influence., him seeing the IRGC dominance as a liability. It should be noted though, that recently Rouhani has defended the IRGC, as reported in reuters.
The washingtonexaminer wrote up a piece titled Iran’s real foreign minister isn’t who you think it is, claiming that the real “deal crafter” and “master diplomat” is Kassem Soleimani, the head of the IRGC Quds force, and not president Rouhani or FM Zarif. This piece is rather revealing regarding the “real forces” and fake or “make-believe” forces in Iran. The IRGC has shadowed the classic political positions of power, deeming them impotent.
Thus, taking a brief overlook of viewpoints on the IRGC issue, it would seem that there is no wide area of factual disagreement. The disputed areas are (a) if economic sanctions will strengthen or weaken the IRGC. (b) if president Rouhani is supportive of the IRGC or against the IRGC. Yet, IRGC’s involvement in global terror, military aspects and domestic political and economic dominance – is undisputed. It is quite rare to find such a display of consensus.