by Ali Alfoneh
Middle East Quarterly
Fall 2008, pp. 3-14

Almost three decades after the Islamic Republic's founding, former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commanders are infiltrating the political, economic, and cultural life of Iran. Half the members of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's cabinet are former IRGC officers,[1] and he has appointed several IRGC officers to provincial governorships. The IRGC's rise has been deliberate. Facing both external opposition to Tehran's pursuit of an indigenous nuclear enrichment capability and internal pressures for political and economic reforms, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei considers the IRGC officer corps more apt at crisis management than the bureaucratic teams of either former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989-97) or Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005). IRGC chief General Mohammad Ali Ja'fari's announcement of internal restructuring to prepare the IRGC to counter "internal threats to the Islamic Republic"[2] reflects the organization's expanding role. The Council of Guardians, which screens candidates before elections, privileged IRGC veterans, who won the bulk of seats in the March 2008 parliamentary elections. Whereas there has always been tension within the Islamic Republic's elite concerning whether the Revolutionary Guards' political or military role should be dominant, recent shifts suggest the debate is concluding as the IRGC cements a commanding influence over political decision-making.

a good read. Lets you know what the Iranian people face every day.