Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, May 10, 2010

More on the growing power of the Revolutionary Guard

Here's some specific evidence about the growing power of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps expands role in sanctions-hit oil sector
Taking advantage of the very sanctions directed against it, Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps is assuming a leading role in developing the country's lucrative petroleum sector…

The Guard's engineering companies, replacing European oil firms that have largely abandoned Iran, have been rewarded with huge no-bid contracts…

In the past, the Guard's role in Iran's petrochemical sector was restricted to related infrastructure projects, including building roads and canals. But now Guard-affiliated companies oversee the development of most oil projects, and they have taken the lead in key parts of the gigantic South Pars liquefied natural gas project in the Persian Gulf town of Asalouyeh, with Chinese companies increasingly acting as subcontractors...

Under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Guard has vastly increased its business activities.

Working through its construction-sector arm, the Guard operates Tehran's international airport, builds the nation's highways and constructs communications systems. It also manages Iran's weapons-manufacturing business, including its controversial missile program…

The Guard's construction arm acts as a commercial company, but it is unclear how its revenue is handled. Commanders say the Guard's income is transferred to the national treasury, but no public records detail the amounts…

The Guard, whose Khatam ol-Anbia arm is the biggest construction contractor in the country, publicly boasts of its growing experience in huge oil projects.
"Today, the Revolutionary Guards are proud to have such knowledge and capability that we can easily replace big foreign companies like Total and Shell in taking over big projects at Asalouyeh," senior commander Yadollah Javani told the semiofficial Iranian Labor News Agency last weekend. Western analysts say that on major projects, however, the Guard typically subcontracts the most complex work to foreign companies, most of them now from China.
See also: The Rise of the Revolutionary Guard

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