The Business of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

The New York Times reported yesterday that the Bush administration is considering designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. The purposes of that move are myriad (including, according to Ralph Peters, to provide a legal basis for bombing IRGC sites in Iran). But it's clear that a major aim would be to allow the U.S. government, in concert with allies in Europe and elsewhere, to further tighten financial sanctions against the IRGC and its business interests.

Military organizations with business interests? Unfortunately, it's a not uncommon phenomenon around the globe (even in some democracies, such as Indonesia). But the Revolutionary Guards seems to have taken the concept of a military-industrial complex to a whole new level, especially under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Here's a list of the Guard's business interests, compiled from press reports and other documents:

Defense Industry

U.N. Security Council resolution 1747 (pdf file) lists three IRGC subsidiary companies involved in aerospace, including Qods Aeronautics Industries, Pars Aviation Services, and Sho'a Aviation.

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