SMART DIPLOMACY: How the Nuclear Deal Enriches Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
In short, whether its internal security, foreign adventures, or large corporate ventures, the IRGC plays an outsized role in Iran’s internal power structure. Established in 1979 to consolidate the Islamic revolution and fight its enemies, the IRGC has evolved over the years into a full-fledged conventional army, conducting and directing terrorist activity abroad. The Guard has also become a political power broker, an economic conglomerate, and an agency in charge of nuclear and ballistic-missile proliferation.
The interaction among military, economic, and political power is critical in understanding the centrality of the IRGC to Iran’s current system. The Guard exploits its influence and capabilities in one realm to increase its presence in another. Its growing economic clout is both an end in itself and a tool to advance its other agendas. Thus, IRGC revenues from economic activities yield the necessary resources and political leverage to place its members in positions of power. Conversely, the Guard’s political power serves the economic enterprises it owns, and both its political and economic weight in turn advance its military projects.
That’s just from the online introduction. The full report is available in PDF format, and is both dry and damning of the Obama Administration.