chapter
5 Pages

Introduction

ByKenneth Katzman

In Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is everywhere. The Guard, by contrast, sees involvement in politics as not only permissible, but as part of its mission to defend the Islamic revolution—a mission that is enshrined in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic. The relationship between the Guard and the clerical leaders of the Islamic regime who helped organize the Guard is just one among many aspects of the Guard that need discussion if one is to understand this organization. There are some basic problems in attempting to analyze the Revolutionary Guard, foremost among them the difficulty in obtaining information about it. An interview methodology that uses non-Guard exiles or former regular military personnel as a substitute would suffer from major limitations, in that these exiles are precisely those elements that would have an unfavorable bias against the Guard.