Iran and the Threat of the Revolutionary Guard

Team Obama, clearly exasperated that Iran’s terrorist state hasn’t reciprocated to its public and private engagement overtures, took a new tact during U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent Mideast tour.  The secretary declared that the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is supplanting the country’s clerical and political leadership and moving the nation toward a “military dictatorship.”  And the administration is now seeking yet another U.N. Security Council resolution as a remedy.

Newsflash to Team Obama:  Iran’s theocratic rulers, president, and their IRGC protectors share the same nuclear weapons and terrorism goals and are the driving force behind the regime’s 31-year one-sided “Death to America” war. They have collectively and successfully thwarted all previous economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations.

There are plenty of reasons why the Iranian regime (dating back to the time of the Reagan administration) and the IRGC (during the George W. Bush administration) have been labeled as terrorists by the United States. With the consent of the Iranian regime, IRGC members participated in seizing the American embassy in 1979 and holding 52 hostages for 444 days – in violation of international law and millennia of diplomatic protocols.  Its Quds Force used Hezbollah proxies to target and bomb the U.S. embassy and the Marine Barracks in Lebanon, bomb U.S. residences in Saudi Arabia, and kidnap and murder American captives (such as William Buckley and USMC  Lt. Col. William Higgins). The Quds Force now manufactures and supplies lethal roadside bombs (IEDs) to Shi’ite militias in Iraq and the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan that kill and maim American troops.

If that isn’t bad enough, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog (IAEA) recently said the regime, with the IRGC leading the way, may be on the verge of producing a nuclear warhead to go along with their long-range missiles, which many believe will further threaten regional and global peace and security. Others believe Iran already possesses a nuclear capability and is in the process of achieving the capability of matching warheads to missiles. Surprisingly, many Americans know little about the IRGC, which wields considerable security, political and economic clout in Iran.  Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini created the IRGC in 1979 primarily to safeguard the ideal of his Shi’ite Islamic Revolution, protect his regime from domestic and foreign enemies, and export his brutal brand of Islamic fundamentalism to neighboring states.

The IRGC operates independently from Iran’s regular military, reporting directly to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.  It currently has about 200,000 members assigned to special army, air force, navy and intelligence units – in all 30 Iranian provinces.   At the behest of the Supreme Leader during the past year, the IRGC cracked down on innocent Iranians protesting the questionable reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Islamic Republic’s 31st anniversary celebration. The IRGC exports the revolution through their notorious Quds (Jerusalem) Force.  This force has about 20,000 highly trained personnel specializing in international terrorism, armed conflict and support of proxies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza.

Former and current IRGC members occupy 14 of 21 cabinet positions, about 90 of 290 parliament seats, and a host of local mayorships and council seats.  Past and present IRGC members include President Ahmadinejad, ambassador to Iraq Hassan Kazemi-Qomi and parliament speaker Ali Larijani. The IRGC is also a business conglomerate controlling some 500 companies active in a wide range of industries including nuclear power, banking, insurance, and recreation.

The IRGC and Quds Force headquarters are located in Tehran, the latter in the former U.S. embassy.  The IRGC oversees at least seven nuclear facilities, including those at Isfahan, Natanz, and Qom.  And the IRGC/Quds Force operates at least 20 terrorist training centers including the Imam Ali Training Garrison, Tehran; Bahonar Garrison near Karaj Dam; and the Abouzar Garrison, Ahwaz, Khuzestan Province.   Lethal roadside bombs are produced by Sattari Industries in Tehran’s Lavizan District.

The IRGC and Quds Force are currently led by Maj. Gen. Mohammed Ali Jafari.  He was appointed by Supreme Leader Khamenei in 2007.  His portfolio includes command of Iran’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, relations with countries like Venezuela and terror proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas, and liaison with intelligence organ Ministry of Intelligence and Security.

One cannot fault Secretary Clinton for putting the well-deserved spotlight on the IRGC.  However, her declaration about it becoming an emerging “military dictatorship” misses the mark.  In reality, it doesn’t matter whether Iran is ruled by clerics or a card-carrying IRGC member as president. The IRGC will still continue developing nuclear weapons, engaging in terrorism, oppressing millions of freedom-seeking Iranians, ignoring Team Obama’s rapprochement overtures and economic sanction threats, and dismissing another worthless U.N. Security Council resolution watered down by Iran’s security council veto-wielding friends in Russia and China.

The time has come for Team Obama to shelve its idealistic, naïve and dangerous “open-hand” diplomacy in favor of “bold and aggressive” action against Iran. The administration must support the Iranian Opposition organizations.  The best way to get the Iranian regime’s attention would be to inform them that President Obama will:

(1) Ask Congress to pass a resolution making Iranian “regime change” a strong U.S. policy (similar to what Congress and President Clinton did for Iraq in 1998);

(2) Direct, under executive authority or with congressional permission, precise military strikes on Iranian nuclear development sites as well as regime targets like terrorist training facilities, IRGC and Quds Force headquarters. This will be done if Iran doesn’t cease its nuclear weapons program and supporting radical Islamic/global caliphate activities;


(3) Overtly and covertly encourage and support all Iranian opposition and freedom seeking groups to foster regime change.

Let’s “hope” President Obama makes these policy “changes” before it’s too late. Global peace and security depend on it.

Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, retired, is chairman of Stand Up America, a member of the Iran Policy Committee and co-author of Endgame.  Fred Gedrich is a foreign policy and national security analyst who served in the Departments of State and Defense.

  • temarch

    The best way to get the Iranian regime’s attention would be to inform them that: President Ronald Reagan has been cloned and is now going to be in charge of the "Iranian problem".

    • eerie Steve

      If we are going to clone anyone, it should be the rogue warrior Commander Dick Marcinko. Clone him a million times over, and start up a seal team seven. Just give them exploding pikes to satisfy that and put them with the frog men.

      Let them maraud the deep blue water like megalodon and sink battleships and air craft carriers.

      That is what bin Laden's legacy shall be. Yes, Osama, singularity does exist, and you are it!

  • gorpreebley

    This would require Obama to have a brain. Just as the left blinded the world to Hitler's danger in the 30s by preventing the west from arming itself until it was too late and then partnering with Hitler in 1939, the anti-war left is ensuring that war will happen now. Sabotaging confrontation with Iran four years ago and trying to embrace them in a new Molotov Von Ribbentrop pact is their new legacy.

    Barring a miracle. We are on the brink of a regional war and economic upheaval unlike anything the world has ever seen. The people of Iran alone and unarmed are not strong enough to take a regime that is willing to do anything to its opponents to stay in power and terrorize the world. Unless the Iranian Army rises in rebellion, revolution is not going to work.

    • xman

      Not only a brain but a spine as well. The entire West has become a spineless paper tiger and the Iranian leadership knows it.

      • frank

        Amen. You hit the nail on the head.

        • eerie Steve

          Iran? Are you friggin kidding me?

          Let's see:

          Age old tanks vs. the tomahawk cruise missle.
          The suicide bomber on a jet ski vs. the Predator
          Hezbollah vs. the Green Berets

          Those fags will fall faster than the Saddamizer. Now that we got the gays, who will really get medieval on your ass.

  • russ

    With the Iranians continually thumbing their noses at us, it is long past time to get tough with them without actually going to war with them.

    The Iranians continue to kill our soldiers by supplying the enemy with IED’s, other weaponry, and supporting terrorists and insurgents with complete impunity. Instead of sitting idly by, we should warn them that enough is enough, and put them on notice that the next time any of our soldiers die as a result of their actions, we will retaliate.

    Retaliation should take the form of surgical strikes from outside the country by artillery, drone or cruise missile, but confined to military targets, starting off with minor strikes and building them up if they have no affect on the Iranian’s belligerent behavior.

  • Kevin in El Paso

    With all possible respect to the careers and international savvy of the esteemed authors, all of this symmetric warfare thinking is highly disappointing.

    The way to stop Iran from becoming a serious nuclear threat to the region is to destroy it’s ability to pay for its nuclear ambitions; homegorwn and what it cannot do itself.

    Reduce Bandar Abbas to ashes. Blow their eastward and westward pipelines in depth. Destroy art least three of their oil refineries. Then let murdering SOBs pick up the pieces of their own regime.

    • Peachey

      Or, end their extensive banking and money partnerships in India. Remember India. Supposedly a friend, trading partner and recipient of America's generosity.

    • eerie Steve

      Machiavelli says men may NOT suffer slight insults. Either decimate your enemy or die yourself.

      If any of our allies considers hitting Iran, let's face it, we are in it. Obama is the defacto regional power in the Middle East now.

  • USMCSniper

    Both Obama and Bush have fear-the-weapon-not-the-killer mentality and refuse to understand the threat posed always by Iran and still right now. This view holds that only the concrete facts about Iran's arsenal have any practical significance, while its abstract, ideological goals and character can be disregarded with impunity. But whether Iran uses one nuke, or attacks with more conventional weapons, its victims are still dead.

    This narrow concern with Iran's nuclear capability cannot make the regime's longstanding hostility to America go away. Americans should face the real character and conduct of the Iranian regime, before it is too late. Paraphrasing something close to Churchill:

    "If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of victory. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, and only a small chance of survival."

    • WildJew

      Churchill was right. Thanks for quoting this. I came across this quote in one of his biographies. It is close enough. Churchill pleaded for England to re-arm and fight Hitler while he was in a state of relative weakness; before he became formidable. That advice was good back then and it applies today with Iran.

    • Kevin in El Paso

      Good words, sniper,
      I once used the quote from your last paragraph in my e-mail signature. Solide words from one of the last good statesmen in Europe. As bad as it is that Europe ignored him until it was almost too late, it is far worse that we are still ignoring this voice of sober reason.

  • Turbeaux

    I agree with the above proposals. My only concern is Obama and now also our military leadership are so blinded by political correct multiculturalism that they may also try to occupy Iran to perform endless fantasy based nation building missions to lift up Muslims and win their hearts and minds, which is literally impossible since Muslims are obligated to hate our guts no matter what per Islam.

    I’m not sure our current leaders are competent enough to adopt such a narrowly defined mission without going out of their way to attempt to lift Muslims out of poverty so the rest of the world won’t hate us.

    • xman

      You don't need to worry about US troops occupying Iran because there will be no invasion of Iran, and the Iranians know it. After getting away with what they've got away with for the last 31 years, why should the mullahs think otherwise?

      • eerie Steve

        They did not get away with squat. They shall die in the ever encompassing running riot. Just think of Iran as the Blood Gulch level from Halo and there you go.

  • hotspur666

    Reagan surrendered to Iran in a worst way than Carter.

    Jimmy peanut had only 40 hostages.
    Reagan caused the death of 240 marines in Beirut and his
    Oliver North caused 240 US servicemen to be assassinated
    in Gander Newfoundland by an Iranian bomb.

    Reagan surrendered to Khomeini just like Hirohito surrendered to Mac Arthur.

    The only hope is that Hussein Melon Head get impeached this fall by
    a republican party who would have grown balls all of a sudden,
    a not very likely scenario.

    What is very likely is that soon after Iran get it's bomb, Israel will be assaulted by Hamas, Hizbollah, Syria and Turkey, all orchestrated by Tehran.

    They will give no choice to Israel but to vaporize them all, which would be a very good
    turn of event, and a good incentive to Egypt and Saudia to get their
    Wahabites where they belong, in jail, just like during the British Empire.

  • USMCSniper

    Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war. Muslims are vermin like the Orcs of Middle Earth. Kill 'em all, wrap them in their prayer rugs, put 'em all in piles and burn 'em and let Allah sort 'em out. Allah will love us for this because we will keep heaven supplied with lots and lots of fresh raghead souls. And,…. there is nothing like smell of a pile of burning ragheads in the early morning – that is the smell of victory in the air!