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Vanguard of the ImamReligion, Politics, and Iran's Revolutionary Guards$
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Afshon Ostovar

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199387892

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199387892.001.0001

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In Defense of the Family of the Prophet

In Defense of the Family of the Prophet

Chapter:
(p.204) 11 In Defense of the Family of the Prophet
Source:
Vanguard of the Imam
Author(s):

Afshon Ostovar

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199387892.003.0011

Iran has had a vested interest in shaping the outcomes of the Arab Spring. The IRGC had learned with the fall of Saddam that it could successfully exploit power vacuums for strategic gains. Syria’s civil war and the war against ISIS in Iraq were new entryways for the organization. Under Qassem Soleimani, the IRGC’s Qods Force led Iran’s campaigns in both countries. These were strategic efforts designed to protect Iran’s allies. But their resilience was rooted in religion. The IRGC saw these conflicts as part of a larger Sunni Arab and Western conspiracy against Iran and its allies. It was a war intrinsically against Shiism and the family of the Prophet. To defeat the jihadist scourge and its Sunni Arab benefactors, the IRGC mobilized pro-Iranian, pro-Shiite supporters in Syria and Iraq. These relationships helped Iran advance its agenda and expand its influence. They also intensified sectarian hatreds.

Keywords:   Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, IRGC, modern Iranian history, modern Middle East history, Sunni-Shia sectarianism, Arab Spring, Qassem Soleimani, Qods Force, Quds Force, Shiite Islam

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