Avi Melamed ~ Inside The Middle East
The Iranian Mullah regime came to power in 1979. Iran’s official name is the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran is an Islamic Shi’ite theocracy ruled by Mullahs. The word mullah is an Islamic clerical term. A mullah is a learned scholar of Islamic theology who is authorized to share his knowledge. The Shi’ite clerical order is hierarchical. The most senior cleric in the Shi’ite clergy is Ayatollah ‘Uzma – the Grand Ayatollah. The word Ayatollah is two words that mean “Sign of God.”
As we learned in the opening chapter, one of the core Shi’ite narratives is that their God-given right to lead the Muslim world was stolen from them in the year 680 when Hussein Bin ‘Ali Bin Abi Talib was killed. Inspired, guided, and motivated by that belief, the current Iranian regime is determined to take back its rightful place as the leader of the Muslim world.
To that end, since coming to power in 1979, Teheran has designed and pursued an aggressive foreign policy, called “exporting the Islamic Revolution.” The goal of “exporting the Islamic Revolution” is to expand the Islamic Republic of Iran’s control and influence, and to ensure Iran becomes the dominant superpower in the Middle East.
One of the new regime’s first orders of business was to create a military power parallel to the Iranian armed forces. That military power is the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRG or IRGC). The Commander of the IRG is Hossein Salami and he is directly subdue to the order of Iran’s Supreme Leader, who, since 1989, is Ali Khamenei. On the other hand, the Iranian Armed Forces are under the command of the Ministry of Defense, which is a political appointment – his power pales in comparison to the Supreme Leader. The IRG is tasked to fulfill three major interests of the regime. The IRG’s responsibility is to protect the regime and ensure it stays in power; to develop and implement the strategy necessary to export the Islamic Revolution; and to protect the regime from external military threats. The IRG has evolved to become the regime’s most valuable asset, a powerful political and military body in Iran, and the wealthiest entity in Iran.
Within the IRG there is an elite unit called the Al-Quds Force. Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem. The Al Quds force’s specific mission is to spearhead Iran’s goal of regional hegemony strategically and tactically. To achieve this, their mission is to develop, command, nurture, and manage a network of Iranian proxies, agents, and terror cells in the region and around the world.