The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. A Paper Tiger?

The protests and general chaos continues in Iran and   there are some indications that someone or some group  inside Iran is orchestrating the continuing violence. An example is the burning of the Sepal bank which handles the money for the IRGC, helping to the paralyze the Mullah economy.Families of the Regime officials are beginning to depart the country. More industries employees are striking and work is sporadic in many parts of Iran. The forty day mourning tradition of the Shi’a assures that the motives for the protests, revolution, will continues ad infinitum…..unless the regime employs all their forces in a hugely bloody conflagration. They have done done so yet. Why not? They are afraid the same thing that happened to the Shah will repeat itself..i.e. the soldiers will begin to join the revolutionaries. They are obviously not sure of their troops loyalty, especially the  regular army (Artesh) which has always been suspect,  hence the formation of the IRGC, and the Basij. However there is good evidence that at the Soldier level, the IRGC soldier is as poorly trained and as indifferent to his service at the average Artesh  soldier. As in the Shah’s army the recruits  in the Atesh and IRGC are treated poorly by their officers,  and the NCO corps is mostly useless and equipment poorly maintained. Junior officers are poorly motivated and lack initiative. The senior officers are a mixed bag, selected for regime loyalty as much as competence.

Mohammed Bahgeri Chief of Staff of Iranian Armed forces, which includes Army, Navy, Air Force, and Air defense

Their level of  military prowess  has been measured too often in the West by their “show and tell” and “splash and dash” military exhibitions of missile firings  and ludicrously boastful proclamations of their generals to wipe Israel off the map..etc. Since the end of the Iran-Iraq  in 1988, the Iranians have not tested their military. It has atrophied a great deal and in a number of categories was not that competent in the war: For instance, Depending on using teenagers for human mine detectors to cross Iraqi barbed wire and minefields. The “elite” status of the IRGC is not really warranted, the “Quds” Special Forces wing of the IRGC is an Elite force, but generally in  plotting foreign sabotage, inciting mobs, terror operations, etc. not general warfare, or even domestic regime protection.

Hossein Salami commander of IRGC

In essence, the Iranian armed forces are a hollow shell with a shiny exterior that hides the rot inside. They lack the Islamist fervor for “death,” as so loudly proclaimed by various Islamist groups that  chant that they “welcome death.” In fact, the leaders of these organizations are always carefully guarded by numerous guards and flee to bunkers  when danger is near. Their followers have become more cognizant of this and the zeal has plummeted.

Ismael Quanni CO of Terrorist Al Quds organization

The families of these Iranian leaders are not feeling secure these days as the protestors go to the same schools as their children, the spoiled brats of the religious elite, military officers, and bureaucracy of the Iranian regime. Some may even be participating in the protests.

The bottom line here is that the Iranian regime is on life support and even if it survives, its power will be greatly diminished. Taking a predictive plunge I do not think the Islamist regime of Khamenei  will, survive in its present form, meaning that the theocracy is dead.



About Tex

Retired artillery colonel, many years in a number of positions in the Arab world. Graduate of the US Military Academy and the American University of Beirut. MA in Arab studies from the American University in Beirut along with 18 years as Middle East Seminar Director at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Served in Vietnam with 1st Inf Division, Assignments in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, plus service with Trucial Oman Scouts in the Persian Gulf. Traveled to every Arab country on the map including Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
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