US TO DESIGNATE IRAN’S ELITE FORCE AS TERRORIST GROUP
07, Apr 2019
Prelims level : International Mains level : GS Paper II (Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e- governance- applications).
why in News:
- The United States is expected to designate Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps a foreign terrorist organization. US officials told that it is the first time Washington has formally labelled another country’s military a terrorist group.
Details: / Islamic Revolutionary Guard:
- The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps power extends beyond Iran and into major conflicts across the Middle East. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is Iran’s elite military force responsible for protecting the Islamic regime from internal and external threats.
- A 125,000-man force, it also controls the paramilitary Basij militia, which has about 90,000 active members, and runs the foreign special operations Quds force.
- The IRGC was established at the end of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution as an elite armed militia whose role was to protect the then embryonic Shiite clerical regime.
- The IRGC initially operated as a domestic force, but expanded quickly after Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Iran in 1980, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini gave the group its own ground, naval and air forces.
IRGC hands are everywhere:
- Some analysts have argued the IRGC has since become a state-within-a-state, a visible manifestation of what is usually referred to as the “deep state” in other less authoritarian countries. The IRGC’s role is enshrined in the constitution and it answers only to Iran’s supreme leader, thus also endowing it with an enormous range of legal, political and in effect also religious powers. The IRGC’s power base reaches into the furthest corners of the Iranian state, a network that effectively runs the military and intelligence complexes.