In this section, IranTracker goes beyond the information provided in other areas of the site to present a selection of in-depth, analytical pieces that examine the most relevant issues about the Islamic Republic to present a clearer picture of what is Iran, how it works, and where it is going.
In this section
This assessment examines messaging from senior IRGC officials on issues of critical importance to U.S. national security, including: IRGC response to an attack on Iranian territory; Iran’s involvement in Syria, and; Iran’s nuclear program.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is first and foremost concerned with regime preservation, and its strategic calculus and behavior are deeply influenced by this concern. It is therefore essential that Iran’s global terror campaign is considered within this context.
On February 13, 2013, IRGC Quds Force Brigadier General Hassan Shateri was assassinated in Syria. His death is a serious blow to the Quds Force, and his very presence in northern Syria shows the depth of Iran’s involvement in that conflict.
Iran has been deploying training teams to Syria, drawn from some of its elite regular combat formations, similar in some respects to the advisory units the U.S. has sent to help train Iraqi and Afghan forces. Tehran is actively assisting and mentoring Bashar al Assad’s military in the suppression of its people.
As the June 2013 presidential election in Iran draws near, it appears there is an effort underway to rekindle a national debate about the regime’s legitimacy. This effort, led by the opposition, has prompted a series of harsh reactions from regime officials.
Understanding the IRGC's formal rank system is an important component of understanding the Iranian regime's power structure and its key players. This slide deck explains the rank structure of the IRGC and the relative degree of formal military authority granted to guardsmen at each rank.
Since 2008, the Islamic Republic of Iran has continued to pursue a coordinated soft-power strategy throughout its sphere of influence, using political, economic, and military tools to promote its agenda, although not always with success.