NEW YORK, NY—In the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution, Khomeini disbanded the Shah’s secular government, including its American trained armed forces. The secular government agencies were viewed with suspicion by the up- and- coming Iranian clerics who worked ferociously to consolidate their grip on the Iranian nation.
Khomeini created the Revolutionary Guard, a parallel military force fiercely loyal to the Iranian Mullahs. The Revolutionary Guard’s mission is to protect the Islamic Republic by keeping the ruling clerics in power.
The Iran’s Supreme Leader has used the Guard to brutally suppress the recent uprisings in Iran, challenging the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a second term as the country’s President.
But there is more to the Revolutionary Guard that meets the eye. Today, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has infiltrated all facets of Iranian society from defense to commerce. The Guard and its front companies dominate the Iranian economy. Large government contracts are awarded to Guard owned enterprises, depriving the ordinary Iranian businesses from sharing in the country’s oil revenues.
The Revolutionary Guard relies heavily on recruiting youngsters from poor, illiterate, families whose loyalties are easily bought by promising lucrative pay and benefits.
Many of those youngsters are trained by the Guard to engage in terrorist activities. The Mohammad Rassoul-o Allah battalion of the Revolutionary Guard has been active in recruiting youngsters from villages in the oil rich region of Khuzistan. According to Iran Focus, these recruits are being trained to carry out terrorist operations.
The base salary for the young recruits ranges from $400-500.00 per month. This is a substantial salary for young people without high school education living in a country where the unemployment amongst the young people is around 70%.
The Guard is also active in carrying out a number of illegal activities, chief among them smuggling goods into the country.
From their base in the southern Iranian island of Qeshm, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard smuggles large quantities of goods into the country without any inspection.
From the south-eastern province of Sistan-va-Baluchestan, the Guard smugglers illegally enter Pakistan and bring into Iran a variety of foreign made goods including illicit drugs.
Since the inception of the Islamic Republic, the incidents of drug addiction among the Iranian population have skyrocketed.
Even the Iranian government’s budget is not immune from interference by the Revolutionary Guard.
Last year, a large sum of money allocated in the budget for the purchase of live stock went missing. According to Iran Focus, the money was believed to have been stolen by government officials and diverted for use by the Revolutionary Guard.
The alleged scheme involved purchasing sick live stock from Venezuela at deep discounts and pocketing the difference. In some cases, the live stocks were so sick that the Iranian officials obtained it for free.