Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps: Terrorist Organization

John Thompson is Executive Director of the Mackenzie Institute for the Study of Terrorism, Revolution and Propaganda-Canada. Sara Akrami is Founder and President of the Human Rights Activists Association at York University-Canada.


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Canada has a fairly tough and effective set of anti-terrorism laws, provided that a terrorist belongs to an entity listed by the Canadian government to which these laws are deliberately applied.  Canada has listed al Qaeda and Hezbollah, among other Islamic groups.   Once the Tamil Tigers were added to the list in 2006, it helped to being about the end of that group by making it impossible for them to continue to fund-raise in Canada.

When the Islamic Republic of Iran was established in 1979, its leader, Ayatollah Khomeini formed an organization called the “Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.”  Aside from its major goal that is the protection of the Islamic system of Iran rather than the Iranian people, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ duty is to prevent any uprisings or internal dissident.  The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps consist of:

1. Paramilitary Brigades; 31 “Corps” distributed throughout the country and who get first call on conscripts and new military equipment.

2. The Basij Militia:  A paramilitary police force of 90,000 that are the ideological police of the Iranian Revolution.

3. The Qods Force:  The terrorist element, and described exactly as such by many observers.

4. The Ansar ol Mahdi Force:  The hard core of the IRGC, they are the bodyguard force for the senior members of the government and for the nuclear program and the rocket force (which they control).

In addition, the IRGC is linked to terrorist activities around the world and supports terrorist organizations.  The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is the paramilitary troops of the Iranian regime.  Like the KGB of the Soviet Union or the SS of Nazi Germany, the IRGC are both the agents of order for a harsh ideological regime and its agents of oppression.

On the face of things, they are a national police force and a security agency for the government of a nation-state.  However, that nation state is a regime that was created and is sustained through coercion and violence, and the IRGC are the agents of that coercion.

When it suits the Iranian regime, the IRGC is a part of a legitimate government (insofar as the regime can be truly said to be legitimate).  However, when it suits the Iranian government, they can also pretend that the IRGC does not represent official policy and is not a component of that government.  This sorry sham of “plausible deniability” has been played too often.

The IRGC pretends that it is not an agent of the Iranian authorities when it is training terrorists in Lebanon and Yemen, or sending paramilitary forces to shore up Syria, fighting alongside Hezballah, or protecting dope smuggling operations in Latin America.  Its Qods Force has worked with many terrorist groups (including liaising with al Qaeda), delivered terrorist attacks of its own, and has murdered dissidents and exiles on behalf of Iran.  Some of the significant terrorist activities of the IRGC include the 1983 United States Embassy bombing in Beirut, the 1988 Kuwait Airlines hijacking, the 1992 Israel Embassy attack in Buenos Aires, and most significantly, the explosion of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994. In addition, the IRGC played an important role during the 2006 Lebanon War and was responsible for firing missiles at Israeli naval vessels.  It further assisted Hezballah to fire rockets into Israel across the Syrian border.

Therefore, Canada has many reasons to put the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in the terrorist list.

1. Canada has evidence that Zahra Kazemi, the Iranian-Canadian photojournalist, was raped and tortured before her 2003 beating death in a Tehran prison. Iran has always refused to release her corpse so that we could do an autopsy.  The IRGC runs Iran’s prisons.

2. Iran supplied weapons and explosives to the Taliban in southwestern Afghanistan, apparently since 2003. The Afghan government says Iran supplied 10.9 tons of small arms and ammunition to the Taliban in 2009 and the British intercepted a big shipment in June 2011.  Iranian supplied material has probably killed some Canadian soldiers.  Arms transfers to guerrillas are one of the responsibilities of the IRGC.

3. Hezballah, a listed terrorist entity under Canadian law, has always maintained a close relationship with Iran through the IRGC – which trained and armed the group.  Hezballah has used Canada as a base for fundraising and specialist equipment, and their actions directly contributed to the death of a Canadian soldier with the UN in South Lebanon in 2006.

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  • american terrorist

    if the iranian revolutionary guard is an terrorist organisation then your american, israel and canada are terrorist countries,. and they should be eliminated from the face of the earth. hail allah

    • UCSPanther

      Let's see you try. You'll get your 72 virgins soon enough…

    • Western Canadian

      Should that be ‘heil hitler’?? Oh, wait, same thing.

  • UCSPanther

    I call the IRGC the Iranian Schutzstaffel due to the many similarities they bear to the Nazi Party's armed wing.

    • Suleiman

      Yeah exactly like the American CIA covert operations to protect the evil American empire and its war machine.

  • sasss31

    For the sake of humanity, this regime must go. And I speak as an Iranian. IT is for the global security of the world that this regime under NO circumstances be allowed to acquire apocalyptic weaponry. The only solution is regime change and regime change NOW.

  • Ghostwriter

    You'll get no disagreement from me,sasss31.

  • H.S

    This reality has been shouted for so many years by so many peoples and political parties within and out of Iran. great to hear what I just have read.