NEW YORK, Aug 8, 2011 (IPS) - Last week’s appointment of a ranking member of Iran’s influential Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as the country’s new oil minister could lead to a more unaccountable and unpredictable military with greater influence on the government in Tehran, analysts say.
The IRGC currently controls Iran’s most powerful intelligence- security arm, which played a key role in the post-election crackdown of 2008 and the intimidation, arrests and imprisonment of hundreds of political dissidents.
It has built up a sprawling business empire since the 1979 Revolution, with annual revenues estimated at some 12 billion dollars and investments in sectors ranging from oil, gas and petrochemicals to cars, bridges and roads. It also controls the paramilitary Basij militia. Read more
BERKELEY, California, Dec 29 (IPS) - News that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps is withdrawing a billion dollars from the country’s Foreign Reserve Fund in order to complete Phases 15 and 16 of the gigantic South Pars gas project has generated concern among Iranian analysts, who believe the move reveals the military organisation’s excessive power over Iran’s economy.
In view of looming sanctions from the United States and the United Nations Security Council over Iran’s nuclear programme, the IRGC’s control over the country’s sensitive oil, and gas and nuclear industries could provoke a serious crisis, they warn. Read more