October 10, 2012
IRGC Command Network: Formal Structures and Informal Influence
Understanding the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is essential to understanding Iran. Whether it is Iran’s nuclear program, conflict in Syria, international terrorism, or domestic security, the IRGC is a key decision maker.
The Command Network is a group of IRGC commanders with links dating back to the 1980s. This network currently dominates the upper echelons of Iran’s military and controls planning, operations, intelligence, covert and irregular warfare operations, and internal security. They are positioned to influence the decision making and worldview of Iran’s senior leadership, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and significantly impact Iranian policy on issues of critical importance to U.S. national security.
The IRGC Command Network video assesses the following:
The structure of the IRGC’s key command and staff positions (Commanding Heights)
The composition of the core informal influence network that has dominated, and continues to dominate, the IRGC’s Commanding Heights (Command Network)
The persistent cohesion of the Command Network through political and internal security crises where one could have expected to see conflict or personnel reshuffling
The present-day positioning of the Command Network within the IRGC’s Commanding Heights
For more information on the sources and methodologies used in this assessment please contact the author.