The Islamic Republic of Iran undergoes a second, mostly quiet revolution. The tip of the iceberg is showing for almost a year now, but underneath you will find method, money and motivation. The IRGC has been the backbone of the first revolution, beginning as a small ideological core. Over the years the IRGC grew into an all-controlling monstrosity, using the political arena as a means to take over the economy and the resources. It could have stayed this way, and no-one would be the wiser. Some uprisal here, a new opinion there. But then the game changer came.

In the midst of the world crisis dealing with COVID-19, the government apparatus in Iran collapsed completely. People were dying in the streets, the choice of vaccine went completely wrong, China stopped backing Iran, licking her own wounds, and almost anything that could go wrong, went wrong. The IRGC, mostly affiliated with ideological and international take overs using Quds forces, has systematically taken over the Iranian economy for years, mainly in order to provide for the elite staff of the Corps and to allow them to hold the state hostage if needed. It was needed at that point in time.

The head of the IRGC, up until then playing the role of the right hand to the leader, understood that this might lead to the loss of control. People were protesting, mainly for water, electricity and bread. Every intervention turned into an escalation. The world watched closely, as pictures and videos spread on the internet. The talks about the nuclear agreement were advancing, which did not go well with the wishes of the IRGC. This could be the beginning of the end. The leader could not be replaced, as this would be a sign of weakness that might be used by dissidents and/ or Salafists. He had to take action, and he did.

The IRGC had to physically take over the Islamic Republic. While Khamenai was to stay in office, he was not allowed to take any more rulings. These are dictated by the IRGC directly, with the sole purpose to ensure the survival and predominance of the IRGC in the Iranian nation, the economy and the government. At the time, almost two years ago, this included a number provisions: IRGC will provide the next president to be chosen. IRGC will have free judgement to take steps against protest and protesters, including using the opportunity to get rid of dissidents and activists on their list. There will not be any agreement with the West that might put under scrutiny the Iranian nuclear project as long as Iran is not recognized as a nuclear threshold state, even if the West gives in to all Iranian demands, in which case additional demands will be put into place.

In order to make this happen, the IRGC first had to make sure that money can flow their way. Years of laying down the infrastructure to circumvent export sanctions allowed the IRGC to channel larger parts of the Iranian economy into their apparatus. This made the state poorer, but the IRGC wealthier. The provinces, depending on the central government, were left helpless. The upheaval came in higher and higher waves, but that played into the hands of IRGC, who deployed the Basij on a regional level, later to include IRGC special forces as death squads to “take care” of dissidents. At first one could have mistaken the rising level of brutality as a sign of increasing pressure of the citizens in the provinces. Very soon one could narrow it down to IRGC fighting doctrine we have seen in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. IRGC made clear who the enemy is – it is whoever is not IRGC. This has much to do with the inner changes of IRGC, their focus on Mahdism and the reincarnation of the twelfth Imam. The mere belief in this aspect, the heavy indoctrination methods to shape a new generation of IRGC members willing to overlook completely tools of logic, international relations or human rights, all these provide the IRGC with leverage originating not only in strength, but in horror, not too different from the Islamic State.

From here on the good connections with Russia, originating from long time cooperation of Quds Force with Russian forces in Syria and common interest in restricting oil production in KSA, using the Hothi minority in Yemen, allowed IRGC to provide international backing for day-to-day atrocities and human rights violations. This is the reason why Iran so easily provided killer-drones to Russia to be used against Ukraine.

It comes down to a puppet government, lead by a puppet leader, maneuvering in plain sight to manipulate the West into believing that these are sensible decision makers, who would be convinced by logic and pressured by economical sanctions.

In fact, Iran is led by the IRGC, holding key roles in presidency, government and parliament; dominating economy in resources, ports and foreign currency capabilities; controlling the streets, the media and the narrative.

When you negotiate with Iran – you negotiate with the IRGC.

When you do business with Iran – you are in Business with the IRGC.

When you sign an agreement – you are signing with the IRGC.

The bottom line is that when you deal with Iran, you deal with a designated, sanctioned and infamous international terror organization, disguised as a government.