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Vanguard of the ImamReligion, Politics, and Iran's Revolutionary Guards$
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Afshon Ostovar

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199387892

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199387892.001.0001

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Big Bang, Big Crunch

Big Bang, Big Crunch

(p.179) 10 Big Bang, Big Crunch
Vanguard of the Imam

Afshon Ostovar

Oxford University Press

President Barack Obama sought a new beginning with Iran, but the violence that followed the contested re-election of Mahmud Ahmadinejad made that impossible. The IRGC and Basij were deeply involved in the brutal suppression of the protests that followed Iran’s 2009 election. They saw the protests as an American plot to destroy Iran’s Islamic system. Washington increased pressure on Iran through sanctions on its nuclear program and the IRGC. At the same time, Iran blamed Israel for an assassination campaign against Iranian scientists. The Arab Spring exacerbated tensions between Iran and its Arab neighbors, who competed for influence in the changing region. The combination of pressures provoked a response by the IRGC, which was linked to assassination plots targeting Saudi and Israeli officials in several countries, including in the United States.

Keywords:   Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, IRGC, modern Iranian history, political violence, terrorism, Arab Spring, Qassem Soleimani, Qods Force, Quds Force, Shiite Islam

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