chapter  2
26 Pages

The Political Environment

ByKenneth Katzman

Placing the Guard within a more general institutional context will facilitate an understanding of its position in the overall Islamic republican political structure and its incorporation into the governing style of the clerical leadership. The regular armed forces of Iran, the roots of which can be traced, albeit tenously, to Cyrus the Great, was an excellent example of an organization that had not become institutionalized by the time of the Islamic revolution. The liberal nationalists, represented by the first Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic Mehdi Bazargan, were toppled when the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 exposed their impotence and triggered the resignation of Bazargan and his government. Behzad Nabavi reveals a key turning point for the militant non-clerical wing of the Islamic revolutionary coalition. He explains how, while in prison in 1975, he broke with the Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization when the organization began to emphasize Marxist rather than Islamic ideology.