Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Military organization to protect the political system of the Islamic Republic in Iran

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, also known as the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, is a multi-service primary branch of the Iranian Armed Forces. It was officially established by Ruhollah Khomeini as a military branch in May 1979, in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution. Whereas the Iranian Army protects the country's sovereignty in a traditional capacity, the IRGC's constitutional mandate is to ensure the integrity of the Islamic Republic. Most interpretations of this mandate assert that it entrusts the IRGC with preventing foreign interference in Iran, thwarting coups by the traditional military, and crushing "deviant movements" that harm the ideological legacy of the Islamic Revolution. Currently, the IRGC is designated as a terrorist organization by Bahrain, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and the United States.

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