Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)

Also Known As: 

Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps
Revolutionary Guards
Pasdarn-e Enghelab-e Islami
Pasdaran Inqilab

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Missile
  • Military

Military force created following the 1979 revolution originally entrusted with internal security; considered separate from the regular armed forces; according to the U.S. State Department, involved in planning and support for terrorist acts and groups; personnel sanctioned for missile and nuclear proliferation activities.

Sanctioned by the United States on December 19, 2014 under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act; the sanctions apply for two years and ban the U.S. government from procuring from, contracting with, or providing assistance to the entity; on October 25, 2007, added to the Specially Designated National (SDN) list maintained by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), freezing its assets under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibiting transactions with U.S. parties pursuant to Executive Order 13382, which targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems; identified by the British government in February 1998 as having procured goods and/or technology for weapons of mass destruction programs.

Includes Ground Forces, Air Forces, Navy, Qods Force (special operations), and Basij (Popular Mobilization Army); reportedly has approximately 125,000 troops and 40,000 active duty troops in the Basij; reportedly supervises some 400 Iranian nuclear experts, in order to prevent the release of sensitive information about Iran's nuclear program; the Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile reportedly was delivered to the IRCG in July 2003; reportedly oversees work on the "Shafagh" subsonic trainer and attack aircraft; also has a counterintelligence directorate; runs prisons and has economic interests in defense production, construction and the oil industry.

Owns or controls Khatam-al-Anbia Construction Headquarters, Oriental Oil Kish, Ghorb Nooh, Sahel Consultant Engineering, Ghorb-e Karbala, Sepasad Engineering Co., Omran Sahel, Hara Company and Gharargahe Sazandegi Ghaem; according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), owns the Hemat industrial complex, where the medium-range Shahab-4 missile is allegedly assembled; also allegedly controls the "Jam" missile development project, based at the Chamran Air Force Base near Jam, about 880 km south of Tehran; according to the NCRI, extraterritorial missions of the IRGC are commanded and executed by the Special Qods Force, which is led by Brigadier General Ghassem Soleimani; according to the NCRI, involved in attempts to produce beryllium domestically.

Commanded by Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Jafari as of September 1, 2007; key IRGC persons identified by the European Union on June 24, 2008 as entities of proliferation concern include Brigadier-General Javad Darvish-Vand (Deputy for Inspection for MODAFL, Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics), Brigadier-General Seyyed Mahdi Farahi (Managing Director of DIO, Defense Industries Organization), Brigadier-General Ali Hoseynitash (Head of the General Department of the Supreme National Security Council), Brigadier-General Mostafa Mohammad Najjar (Minister of MODAFL), Brigadier-General Ali Shamshiri (MODAFL Deputy for Counter-Intelligence), and Brigadier-General Ahmad Vahidi (Deputy Head of MODAFL); additional key persons identified in an annex to U.N. Security Council resolution 1747 of March 24, 2007 include Brigadier General Morteza Rezaie (Deputy Commander of IRGC), Vice Admiral Ali Akbar Ahmadian (most recently former Chief of IRGC Joint Staff), Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi (Commander of IRGC Ground Forces), Rear Admiral Morteza Safari (Commander of IRGC Navy), Brigadier General Mohammad Hejazi (most recently former Commander of Bassij resistance force), Brigadier General Qasem Soleimani (Commander of Qods force) and General Zolqadr (Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs); General Hosein Salimi (Commander of the IRGC Air Force) and Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi (former Commander of IRGC and advisor and senior aide to Iran's supreme leader for armed forces affairs) were identified in an annex to U.N. Security Council resolution 1737 of December 23, 2006.

Nuclear scientists and members of the IRGC, according to the NCRI, include Mohsen Fakhri Zadeh, in charge of nuclear activities for Iran's Ministry of Defense, Fereydoon Abbasi and Mansoor Asgari, both experts at the Modern Advanced Defensive Technology Center; nuclear experts who work on the defense ministry's secret nuclear projects, according to the NCRI, include Dr. Muhammad Bagher Ghofrani, an enrichment expert and professor at Sharif University, and Dr. Ali Abadi and Dr. Muhammad Hussein Ghezel Ayagh, both of Malek Ashtar University.

In August 2005, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei selected Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Jafari-Najafabadi to establish a new IRGC strategic studies institute.

Mentioned Suspect Entities & Suppliers: 

Date Entered: 

January 26, 2004

Date Last Modified: 

January 20, 2015