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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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When Johnny Comes Marching Home

When Johnny Comes Marching Home

Chapter:
(p.141) 8 When Johnny Comes Marching Home
Source:
Vanguard of the Imam
Author(s):

Afshon Ostovar

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199387892.003.0008

This chapter examines the postwar expansion of the IRGC. A key transformation during this period was the decision by Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to avoid total demobilization by instead expanding the purviews of the IRGC and the Basij to include morals policing, domestic security, and state-funded construction. With expanded interests and a larger portfolio, the IRGC gained a greater stake in the regime and more power to influence domestic politics. The IRGC used its influence to counter the reformist movement. Through grassroots activism and outright political pressure, the IRGC stymied President Mohammad Khatami’s reformist government. Backed by war veteran activist groups such as Ansar-e Hezbollah, the IRGC became the leading bulwark against social and political change in Iran. It became the chief advocate for the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and a defender of hardliner and conservative interests.

Keywords:   Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, IRGC, Basij, modern Iranian history, Shi`ism, Shiite Islam, veterans, armed forces, political violence, Mohammad Khatami

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